Barton presents national tribunal idea to parliament

The Victorian MP has defended owner drivers in Victorian parliament

Barton presents national tribunal idea to parliament
Barton wants to protect Victorian transport workers

Just a week after tabling a motion to create a national independent tribunal for heavy vehicle operators, Victorian minister Rod Barton has defended truck drivers and presented the idea to state parliament.

In a speech published on Facebook by the Transport Workers’ Union (TWU), Barton calls for an independent body to protect transport worker rights and to ensure pay and conditions increase for the industry.

"Owner drivers are everyday Australians, entrepreneurs and contributors to our society," he says to parliament.

"Their jobs are based on a fair go. They have a vehicle and are skilled at doing it. They will do so for a reasonable fee to get passengers, food, medicine and parcels to the places where they need to be."

But in his speech, Barton says the problem with Victoria is that it is missing the regulation required to ensure that a fair go applies to all truck drivers.

Unlike employee truckies, couriers or delivery riders, Barton says owner drivers have nearly no entitlements and that Victoria can’t wait for the federal parliament to act.

Instead, Barton says he wants to establish an independent system that will protect Victorian truck drivers and reward them with sufficient pay and conditions for their work.

"We need our own robust system; an independent body to create legislated standards for all transport workers," Barton says.

RELATED ARTICLE: Barton fights for transport worker rights

"We need regulation to kill off contractor loopholes that enable the exploitation of drivers and encourage this race to the bottom for pay and conditions."

Barton’s speech follows his motion to present the independent body plan to Victorian parliament.

Now, the state parliament will discuss the motion and decide whether they will implement the body to oversee Victorian truck drivers.

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