RSRT and national law a recipe for conflicts: ALC


Productivity Commission told Tribunal replicates badly functions better handled elsewhere

RSRT and national law a recipe for conflicts: ALC
Michael Kilgariff presents the case against the RSRT.

 

The Australian Logistics Council (ALC) has brought its arguments about potential regulatory overlaps between Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal (RSRT) orders and Heavy Vehicle National Law (HVNL) provisions to the Productivity Commission’s attention.

The Productivity Commission has launched an inquiry into the national workplace relations framework, while the ALC has made its members’ position clear previously that the RSRT’s wide remit allows it to impinge on non-core operational matters, with the attendant risk of confusion and duplication.

ALC CEO Michael Kilgariff reiterates to commission that that "safety issues are best dealt with by specialist laws – in the case of heavy vehicles the HVNL, administered by specialist regulators in the newly established National Heavy Vehicle Regulator" and that the HVNL "specifically manages speeding and fatigue management – the areas of greatest safety concern in the sector".

He points to clause 10.6 of the Road Transport and Distribution and Long Distance Operations Road Safety Remuneration Order 2014, which sets out what should be contained in a safe driving plan.

"This obligation broadly conflicts with the HVNL, which places an obligation on road operators to take all reasonable steps to ensure that drivers do not drive in a fatigued state or need to speed to meet operational deadlines," Kilgariff says.

"However, the HVNL does so in a manner that allows operators to identify the most efficient manner to give effect to the safety outcomes prescribed in law."

He notes that the risks to efficiency and productivity are high while safety gains are otherwise low as road safety remuneration orders are not subject to cost benefit analyses or regulatory impact statements.

Transport company and subcontractor powers already reside with the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) and are more comprehensive than the RSRT’s, which "due to constitutional limitations . . . only covers approximately 80 per cent of employees and 60 per cent of owner drivers".

The ALC argues that given previous laws and authorities have a greater scope, they undermine RSRT’s value while allowing greater scope for confusion.

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