ALC and TWU joust over retaining RSRT

Kilgariff warns on undermining COR as union builds support federally

ALC and TWU joust over retaining RSRT
Michael Kilgariff says RSRT is not the silver bullet on road safety.


The Australian Logistics Council (ALC) and the Transport Workers Union (TWU) are trading blows over the Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal’s future.

The battle comes against a backdrop of the RSRT under Federal Government review.

The union working hard to build political support for the body it helped create but which the ALC has been vocal in portraying as an example of duplication and a potential confusion.

The latest in what is becoming a willing exchange came as independent federal MP Bob Katter backed the TWU campaign, with ALC managing director Michael Kilgariff expressing his concern that the campaign was a distraction from the main game of  achieving greater compliance and awareness of road transport laws.

"The RSRT is not the silver bullet on road safety its advocates claim and its requirements can even conflict with nationally agreed laws, which can add unnecessary costs to the logistics industry with no safety outcome," Kilgariff says.

He continues: "It concerns me when I hear arguments that the most effective way to improve heavy vehicle safety can be achieved through the development and retention of overlapping legislative measures such as the Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal.

"This effectively diminishes the importance of the Chain of Responsibility concept.

"ALC’s concern has always been that Chain of Responsibility legislation covers the very areas that the Road Safety Remuneration Act aims to address."

For his troubles, Kilgariff was branded a "mouthpiece for major retailers", particularly long-term TWU bugbear and ALC member Coles.

The union quoted Australian Trucking Association owner-driver representative Frank Black as saying: "No one wants to risk their own or anyone else’s life, but when drivers aren’t paid enough to maintain their vehicles or earn a living wage, they can be forced to speed, skip breaks or carry overweight loads just to survive."

Along with Katter and 33 New South Wales non-coalition election candidates, the union says it has federal backing for the tribunal, naming Labor, Green and independent politicians including Labor leader Bill Shorten, newly independent senator Glenn Lazarus, Greens leader Christine Milne, Tanya Plibersek, Adam Bandt, Anthony Albanese, Brendan O'Connor and Glenn Sterle and Alex Gallacher.

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