RSRT an industrial answer to a safety problem says ALC


Body should remain history as industry moves on with greater focus: Kilgariff

RSRT an industrial answer to a safety problem says ALC
ALC MD Michael Kilgariff

 

Safe rates and the Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal (RSRT) remain hot-button topics in transport and logistics, two years after it left the stage.

The Australian Logistics Council (ALC) says RSRT resurrection suggestions are part of a continuing industrial campaign that will do nothing to improve heavy vehicle safety.

Since its abolition, the Transport Workers Union has been unceasing in its demands for the RSRT’s reinstatement, a position the Labor Party supports while the Senate Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport References Committee advocated something similar

But this has been opposed by industry bodies including NatRoad, regularly, and the ATA.

"The RSRT was two years ago, at the conclusion of a protracted public debate and after two comprehensive, independent reviews showed its approach would make no appreciable difference to safety outcomes," ALC MD Michael Kilgariff states.

"Improving heavy vehicle safety is an enormously important national objective – and it should not be conflated with a continuing industrial campaign within some sections of the industry.

"ALC continues to believe that the most effective way to enhance safety in the heavy vehicle industry is by achieving greater compliance with, and enforcement of, the Chain Of Responsibility (COR) provisions in the (HVNL)."

The ALC argues that COR provisions will be strengthened and enhanced by changes due to come into effect later this year, and the broad transport an logistics industry’s focus should be on ensuring compliance with those changes.

That was why the ALC has partnered with the Australian Trucking Association [ATA] for the past year to develop an industry-wide ‘master code’ for heavy vehicle safety, capable of becoming a registered industry code of practice under the Heavy Vehicle National Law (HVNL).

"Additionally, ALC’s recent Position Paper, Improving Heavy Vehicle Safety the Australian Way, sets out other initiatives relating directly to road safety which should be pursued as a matter of priority," Kilgariff says.

"These include amending the HVNL to make it mandatory for heavy vehicles to be fitted with telematics equipment, and requiring heavy vehicle operators to comply with an agreed set of National Operating Standards, to ensure that the nation’s heavy vehicle fleet is operated by competent professionals who comply with vehicle maintenance and safety requirements."

"Each of these initiatives directly target safety issues, and will address the clear appetite within industry and the wider community to improve heavy vehicle safety."

The ALC sees the former RSRT as an industrial body, focused on industrial outcomes.

"The evidence at the time of its abolition clearly showed it would not be effective in dealing with safety," Kilgariff says, echoing a position stated earlier this year.

"The industry has well and truly moved on, and the RSRT should remain in the rear-view mirror.

"Improved heavy vehicle safety is too important an issue to be sidetracked by industrial debates.

"Industry and the community alike expect governments and regulators to focus on solutions that directly address safety issues."

 

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