A NatRoad resolution to seek the abolition of the Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal was given the thumbs up at its annual conference
NatRoad’s aim to bring about the abolition of the Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal came a step closer to fruition following its annual conference last week.
The conference, with former Test cricketer Max Walker as MC, was held at the Adelaide Convention Centre on August 14 to 16.
During the NatRoad Parliament session, the members were presented with the association’s resolve to “lobby the parliament to abolish the Road Safety Remuneration System including the Road Safety Remuneration Act and its associated Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal (RSRT) as a matter of urgency”.
The resolution was passed unanimously without debate.
NatRoad President Geoff Crouch says the alleged link between remuneration and safety on which the tribunal was established was not substantiated during the proceedings following the RSRT’s issuing of its first order after 18 months of submissions.
“The proceedings were dominated by several senior legal practitioners appearing for the Transport Workers Union (TWU) and major operators,” Crouch says.
“Final statistical evidence against any safety and remuneration connection was not addressed.
“The order that flowed from the proceedings has imposed a further bureaucratic control and interference on an already over regulated industry that cannot be reasonably complied with.”
Crouch says, despite NatRoad’s fierce opposition, it was critical to assist members to comply with the order.
“The Tribunal has now embarked on its second annual work program that is aimed at imposing a form of minimum rates on the industry that has been an unworkable feature of the New South Wales transport industry – General Carriers Determination for many years,” Crouch says.
“NatRoad has been extremely active in lobbying for the repeal of the legislation that set up the Tribunal and ultimately we can only hope for its abolition.
“We have had meetings with the Minister for Employment, Senator the Hon. Eric Abetz and his senior advisors to provide them with the relevant information on the affect that the tribunal has on us as a transport industry.”
Crouch says a report from the government-initiated review of the tribunal that considered the NatRoad submissions is expected to be handed down at any time.
“It is hoped that it will recommend the abolition of the Tribunal that is not an effective means of improving heavy vehicle safety outcomes,” he says.
Photography: Greg Bush