Lawyers warn against assuming RSRO repeal

Move to ditch legal order may come but transport firms advised to build in flexibility rather than not addressing it

Lawyers warn against assuming RSRO repeal
Compliance with existing law is imperative


Ignoring compliance under the Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal (RSRT) order could come at a cost, transport lawyers warn.

Whilst the full impact of the Heavy Vehicle National Law (HVNL) and RSRT is still unclear, operators are obliged to satify compliance even if the Road Safety Remuneration Order (RSRO) is later repealed, lawyers at law firm K&L Gates say.

The first RSRO comes into effect on May 1 and will impose several obligations on operators.

The Federal Government announced last year it would review the Road Safety Remuneration Act 2012 and the Tribunal and provide advice whether the system effectively addresses safety concerns in the road transport industry.

"The obligations imposed under the NHVL and RSRO are onerous and the full impact of these changes is currently unclear," the firm says.

"While all affected organisations should have in place NHVL compliant systems, the potential repeal of the RSRO means that a substantial question remains: Does your organisation also need to ensure compliance with the RSRO even if it may be repealed? The simple answer is yes."

Compliance with RSRO is mandatory and operators need to ensure they perform obligations under both the HVNL and RSRO by ensuring that:

  • Directors and senior managers are made aware of the Executive Officer liability provisions within the HVNL
  • All employees are aware of necessary steps to achieve compliance with both the HVNL and RSRO
  • Contractual arrangements, safety and operating systems, training programs and internal policies are updated to reflect the obligations imposed by the RSRO.

"While the RSRO arguably presents a ‘best practice’ approach to management of road transport drivers, it does impose quite onerous and potentially costly obligations on organisations that are involved with the road transport industry," the lawyers say.

"Given the impending Federal Government review and uncertainty surrounding the future of the RSRO, organisations may wish to proceed with some caution when taking steps to overhaul their systems and practices to allow for some flexibility should the RSRO be later repealed."

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