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Trucking firms warn of rates risk to subbies

Position implicitly rejects TWU case on owner-driver impact


Contractor and subcontractor submissions have flown in the face of a Transport Workers Union (TWU) assertion that subcontractors have nothing to fear from driver rates reform.

Submissions from six firms arrived on the Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal’s website on Friday displaying similar arguments and in some cases the same terms.

Beattie Transport, McCarthy Transport, Ri-Industries, Hi-Trans Express and Clarend Transport all say they are subcontractor users and will reduce this option “dramatically”.

They question the industry costs methodology, as modelled by KPMG, with several stating it was “far more variable and complex that the simplistic modelling used by the RSRT in developing its proposed rates”.

They also implicitly reject the link between the rates as structured in the draft remuneration order and safety outcomes, saying the vast majority of subcontractors were safe operators and that another “solution” needed to be found.

Kaye McCarthy of McCarthy Transport, which is both a contractor and a subcontractor, insists the present course represents an existential threat to the business.

“As a sub-contractor, our customers will no longer use our services if the proposed RSRT rates come in,” McCarthy says.

“This will destroy our family business which has been operating for over 40 years.”

She adds that her firm also uses sub-contractors “but we will have to reduce and perhaps cease all use of sub-contractors if the proposed RSRT rates come in”.   

Both Beattie and waste handler Ri-Industries noted they would be forced to bring subcontracted tasks in-house.

Another quite common theme was payment terms needing to be reduced to 30 days.

In an earlier submission, Patrick Autocare’s New South Wales transport manager, Geoffrey Beattie, calculated that his team of regular subcontractors would need to be paid 29-37 per cent more per trip depending where in the state they would need to depart Ingleburn for.

This he describes as being not “a commercially viable option” for his firm and for others, such as Advance Car Carriers, with a similar business model.


Beattie, Patrick Autocare, Ri-Industries ,McCarthy, Hi-Trans Express,RSRT, Clarend,RSRT,

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