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ALC and TWU clash on Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal

Union says the Australian Logistics Council needs to stop opposing the RSRT.


The Australian Logistics Council’s (ALC) championing of measures including operator licensing and snub of the Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal (RSRT) has gained a willing rejoinder from the Transport Workers Union (TWU).

In what has become a regular stoush, the ALC holds up Britain’s operator licensing scheme, telematics and chain of responsibility as measures that would be of more value to the industry.

“Claims that the Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal is the only solution to improving heavy vehicle safety detract much-needed focus from a range of measures that, in industry’s view, would have equal or superior safety and compliance benefits,” ALC managing director Michael Kilgariff says.

“To improve safety, there needs to be a greater effort to ensure all supply chain participants meet their chain of responsibility obligations, coupled with the implementation of a number of targeted and practical measures.”

Kilgariff says there should be an investigation into the safety benefits of an operator licensing scheme, which requires licensees to demonstrate compliance with technical, safety and financial fitness requirements.

He says the requirements could be used to regulate the quality of trucking operators.

“For example, the United Kingdom’s operator licensing system maintains high standards of safety by ensuring licence holders are professionally competent, or that they employ someone who is professionally competent,” Kilgariff says.

He adds that the use of in-vehicle telematics to monitor driver fatigue and speed should be mandatory for linehaul operations and form part of a company’s COR obligations.

The TWU, however, says the ALC’s recommendations will do nothing to tackle the industry bane of late payments. The union wants the RSRT to investigate the practice.

“The Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal has proved is the only body which can investigate all issues which impact on safety in transport. It is the body which can hold all of the major companies using transport operators to account over low cost contracts,” TWU assistant national secretary Michael Kaine says.

“It is in the interests of transport operators to support the tribunal so the squeeze on them is exposed.”

Kaine says the ALC is doing its members a disservice by opposing the RSRT.

“Is the Australian Logistics Council now acting as the mouthpiece of the likes of Coles in allowing them off the hook from real scrutiny of their supply chains?” Kaine says.

The TWU argues other countries are seeking to emulate Australia’s systems on road safety.

It says employers, governments and trade unions at the International Labor Organisation recently backed Australia’s approach to safe remuneration and supply chain accountability.

“We have achieved a unique system here that has the potential to make our roads safer,” Kaine says.

“The Australian Logistics Council must be part of this momentum instead of opposing it.”

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