NatRoad makes awards review consideration call

Clark says Productivity Commission report stamps out the myth of safe rates

NatRoad makes awards review consideration call
Clark says it's time to move on from the 'myths' perpetuated by the RSRT.


With the National Road Transport Association (NatRoad) and the Transport Workers’ Union (TWU) keeping the ‘safe rates’ debate alive, NatRoad has taken the Productivity Commission farming report to flag defects in the system.

NatRoad highlights the recommendations in the Regulation of Agriculture report to call for authorities to consider the "disastrous" effect of the Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal-style arrangements before making any changes to the Road Transport (Long Distance Operations) Award 2010 and the Road Transport and Distribution Award 2010 that are currently under review.

The report states that the RSRT had "significant overlaps" with other heavy vehicle safety regulations and did little to improve to safety in the industry.

"There was no evidence to suggest that such strong regulation of remuneration in the road transport sector was necessary," the reports states.

"There was also no conclusive evidence of the link between remuneration and safety outcomes."

The industry body says the heavy vehicle transport sector needs to see reduced red tape through simplified regulatory frameworks.

NatRoad CEO Warren Clark says the Productivity Commission report justifies the federal government’s decision to abolish the RSRT.

"The report found that the road safety remuneration system (including the RSRT) imposed costs on businesses, including farm businesses, without commensurate safety benefits and its abolition has reduced this burden," Clark says.

"The RSRT caused chaos and confusion to owner-drivers and others in the road transport industry.

"The idea that mandating rates of pay automatically improves safety on the road is a myth.

"It’s time to move on and let the forty thousand trucking businesses around Australia run their own race, just like they’ve done for decades before."

Last year, the office of the Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman (ASBFEO) had presented a similar view in its independent inquiry into the effects of RSRT and its minimum rates order.

The federal government later committed to "never" re-establish the RSRT, a pledge welcomed by industry representative bodies.

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