NatRoad unmoved by IRC’s rejection of GCCD exemption

By: Anjali Behl


Clark says ‘forces’ behind GCCD want to disrupt the industry to make it employer-employee based

NatRoad unmoved by IRC’s rejection of GCCD exemption
NatRoad CEO Warren Clark says GCCD changes will mimic the effects of RSRT's minimum rates order.

 

The National Road Transport Association (NatRoad) has come back with a point-by-point rebuttal to claims made by some industry bodies prior to and following the dismissal of its application to have its members exempted from the changes to the NSW General Carriers Contract Determination (GCCD).

Both the Australian Road Transport Industrial Organisation (ARTIO) NSW and the Transport Workers Union (TWU) welcomed the NSW Industrial Relations Commission (IRC’s) dismissal of NatRoad application on the grounds that it had no ‘standing’ to make such an application.

NatRoad brushes off claim that it does not have standing to make the application on behalf of transport operators, and confirms its pursual of a formal registration while "challenging industrial changes that unfairly impact owner drivers and small trucking businesses".

"NatRoad has applied to update its registration with the NSW Industrial Relations Commission given its forerunning organisation the Long Distance Road Transport Association was a registered organisation," the transport body states.

To the claim that NatRoad represents ‘big end of town in the industry’, it says: "Over 60 per cent of NatRoad members are owner driver and small trucking businesses defined as people who own and operate less than five trucks.

"The remaining portion of members which are larger trucking companies are supportive of NatRoad ensuring the market has a mix of operators."

NatRoad says it not seeking to pay truck drivers less by opposing the changes in NSW, instead it is seeking the right for smaller operators and owner-drivers "to set a price for their services rather than a blanket rates".

While NatRoad concedes that GCCD has been in place for the past 30 years, it notes that originally the rules under the determination applied only to the Sydney metropolitan region and not across the state.

"These are old 1980’s industrial rules that only applied to the Sydney basin in the past 30 years.

"They have never applied to all of NSW until July 2016.

"Today, modern Australia has adequate Commonwealth protections for small operators and contract carriers through the Fair Work Act and the Independent Contractors Act."

It disagrees with the claim that the changes to GCCD rules have brought sustainability in the industry, stating that "there is no independent economic modelling or assessment that indicates that the rules have worked in this way".

NatRoad CEO Warren Clark believes the industrial changes in NSW will add unnecessary red tape and confusion in the indutsry.

"It is very clear that trucking companies and owner drivers are confused by this latest round of industrial changes in New South Wales," Clark says.

"Our campaign to tackle these unfair and confusing industrial changes is gaining traction in regional and rural NSW, with owner drivers once again standing up to union backed industrial changes.

"The players behind this latest round of industrial changes threatening the road transport industry have made it very clear they don’t want scrutiny from NatRoad or the voice of legitimate small trucking businesses present at industrial hearings.

"These players are spreading around wild rumours about NatRoad and spinning minor decisions from the NSW Industrial Commission into trumped up victories while not revealing their own self-interest that is driving the introduction of complicated and confusing industrial changes.

"Make no mistake; these union-backed industrial changes are about removing small independent mum and dad trucking businesses from the market.

"These players are really interested in disrupting the trucking industry to make it employer/employee based – a model which suits union recruitment and creates revenue for union super funds."

NatRoad asserts that it is seeking to:

  • Support fairness and competition for trucking businesses by challenging the setting of rates for the whole State for a select group of people in a sector;
  • Alleviate widespread confusion by having the GCCD abolished or returned to just Sydney where it has always been rather than the whole of NSW.

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