RSRT continues to take flack on minimum rates

Livestock and Rural Transport Association of WA flags unintended consequences

RSRT continues to take flack on minimum rates
LRWTAWA foresees trouble ahead on minimum rates.


Elements of the trucking industry continue to hound the Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal over its minimum rates decision.

With two months to go before it comes into force, the latest salvo comes from Western Australia where the Livestock and Rural Transport Association of WA has highlighted the likely impact there.

The branch insists cost-effective back loading for farmers will be a victim of the Contractor Driver Minimum Payments Road Safety Remuneration Order 2016, when both legs of a journey are 500km or more in total.

"The new rates regime will remove an independent contractor’s discretion to offer a competitive price for services and ultimately price them out of the market," LRTAWA vice president Darren Power says.

"There will be no incentive to introduce efficiencies in order to become competitive.

"The Tribunal is required to consider the impact of its decisions on rural and regional areas but seems to have ignored the submissions from our industry in this regard.

The LRTAWA, which has sought the abolition of the tribunal, notes more points that may defeat the intention of the order to make things easier for contract drivers.

"There are a number of other aspects of the Order which add complexity and uncertainty and unfortunately small family operations will find it increasingly difficult to survive in this environment," Power says.

"Fleet operators are only subject to the Order if they contract independent contractors, so they will either expand or hire other fleet operators to cope with excessive work.

"The industry was preparing a generic contract which will help with compliance but will not address the underlying problem of transport rates being forced on small businesses.

"Rural transport is very competitive and needs to be able to respond to the market. These rules make that impossible."

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