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The Federal Election is just 11 days away and will prove to be the most important election for small trucking businesses as each party has outlined vastly different policies plans for the industry.
NatRoad Chief Executive Officer Warren Clark said, “We all want a safe, competitive, thriving road freight industry – after all every Australian relies on trucks to transport goods to our communities.
“But when I talk to owner drivers during this election it is pretty clear that many businesses hang on the outcome.”
NatRoad advocates for the $40 billion road freight industry that includes more than 35,000 large and small trucking companies employing more than 140,000 people in transporting goods throughout Australia.
In 2016 NatRoad funded the legal challenge to the Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal (RSRT) pay order, arguing that the pay order or ‘safe rates’ sent to trucking businesses throughout Australia by the RSRT would increase costs for small trucking by some 20 to 30 percent, making them uncompetitive.
The parties have quite different ideas and approaches to the industry, commented Clark, and any return to the RSRT will impact the bottom line of small business truck drivers everywhere.
If the Coalition is returned to Government, they have no plans to return to the RSRT and will redirect the previous tribunal funding to safety reform through the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator. While if elected, the Australian Labor Party has stated that it would re-introduce the RSRT and consult on the pay order.
“Small trucking businesses know that a return to the RSRT is not the answer to improve safety. For owner drivers – safety is their business – it underpins their ability to be in the driver’s seat making a living in their small business,” argued Clark.
“We know that safety in the road freight industry is vastly different from the 1980’s and that government, regulators, industry bodies and individual businesses continue to make significant investments to improve safety.”
“We all want to continue to improve safety in our industry while ensure there is some consistency to regulations after many years of change and that safety compliance is truly practical.”
In response, NatRoad has launched the ‘Safety is my business’ campaign to encourage small business truck drivers to actively seek commitment from candidates for further safety reform through the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator rather than a Tribunal.
“We will keep the focus on the implications of this election result for our industry through the ‘Safety is my business’ campaign combined with a new NatRoad special interest group for owner drivers and our continued representation on government advisory groups.”
Small trucking businesses can get involved in ‘Safety is my business’ campaign by visiting smalltruckingbusiness.com