NatRoad 2015: Senate expected to save RSRT

By: Brad Gardner, Photography by: Brad Gardner


Major critic of RSRT accepts the tribunal is not going anywhere.

NatRoad 2015: Senate expected to save RSRT
Arthur Spottiswood says the RSRT will likely tarry awhile.

 

One of the Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal’s (RSRT) major opponents has conceded the battle to scrap the road safety body appears lost.

NatRoad industrial relations adviser Arthur Spottiswood says the current make-up of the Senate means it is unlikely the RSRT will soon be disbanded.

NatRoad and other associations such as the Australian Industry Group (Ai Group) opposed the creation of the RSRT and are fighting against moves to set minimum pay rates for truck drivers.

The current Federal Government also wants to do away with the tribunal, but a coalition of Greens, Labor and Independent MPs in the Senate are standing in its way

"Unfortunately, despite the best efforts of ourselves and Ai Group and a number of employer groups, it is unlikely that the RSRT will be disbanded or made redundant in the future or near future at least because of the make-up of the Senate," Spottiswood told this year’s NatRoad conference.

"As you are well aware, we’ve got crossbenchers in the Senate, the majority of whom are supporting the RSRT.

"So there is no way the government can do much to abolish the tribunal. So it’s there, we’ve got to recognise it is there."

Since starting in 2012, the RSRT has conducted inquiries into various sectors of the trucking industry and introduced an order that mandates 30-day payment terms for contractors.

It is currently examining driver remuneration and whether it should set minimum pay rates for contractor drivers, something the United States is also considering.

The federal government conducted a review of the RSRT in late 2013 and received the findings in early 2014.

However, it has yet to respond to the report and will not say when it will be publicly released.

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