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Abolition of Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal

The Australian Logistics Council has supported a delay to the introduction of the Contractor Driver Minimum Payments Road Safety Remuneration Order mandated by the Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal.
According to ALC Managing Director Michael Kilgariff, the abolition of the RSRT is the only real way to avoid the duplication, confusion and costs that this Order, and others like it, will inevitably create.
“An Order from the Tribunal covering contractor drivers’ minimum payments due to come into effect on 4 April 2016 is creating untold confusion and potential costs in the heavy vehicle industry, with many contracting companies now fearful they will be driven out of the industry.
“This concern has been highlighted by ALC since the legislation was first considered and passed by the previous government in March 2012. Since that time, ALC has consistently called for the abolition of the Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal.
“ALC maintains that because the Road Safety Remuneration Act prevails over all other laws, including the Heavy Vehicle National Law and Work Health and Safety laws, inefficiency, confusion and increased costs would inevitably ensue when the first Order was handed down.
“The confusion with this first Order, which sets national minimum payments for contractor drivers in the road transport industry, underscores the practical difficulties associated with rate setting by an industrially focused tribunal,” he said.
“ALC is committed to improving safety for all road users and it is essential that all stakeholders have a clear understanding of a number of key facts in this important issue.
“First, improving safety in the heavy vehicle industry must be based on achieving greater compliance and awareness of Chain of Responsibility (part of the Heavy Vehicle National Law), rather than being distracted by emotive campaigns to support the Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal.
“In 2016, steps will be taken by Transport Ministers to amend Chain of Responsibility laws including the introduction of a ‘primary duty of care’ into the current Chain of Responsibility that will be similar in nature to those contained in workplace health and safety legislation (see editor’s notes below).
“Some of these obligations will extend to the executive officers of these duty holders.
“Also expected is the introduction of a new risk-based approach to heavy vehicle inspections and changes to how codes of practice are treated under the Heavy Vehicle National Law.
“There needs to be greater effort by all stakeholders to promote understanding and compliance with Chain of Responsibility obligations, which is invariably ignored by proponents of the Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal.
“Second, more can be done to support and drive the safety benefits associated with on board safety technologies, such as telematics.
“Telematics enables companies to monitor driver fatigue and speed, and has been shown to save lives.
“ALC believes that the use of monitoring systems using telematics for compliance purposes should be mandated for heavy line-haul vehicles as part of a company’s compliance with their Chain of Responsibility obligations.

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