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RSRO now in effect as Federal Court lifts stay

NatRoad's appeal rejected as Court schedules consideration hearings on May 9 and 10.


 The Federal Court in Brisbane has lifted the stay on the Contractor Driver Minimum Payments Road Safety Remuneration Order 2016 (RSRO), which means the new rules published on December 18 last year are effective as of 4.15pm on Aoril 7.

Justices Chris Jessup, Bob Buchanan and Darryl Rangiah rejected the National Road Transport Association (NatRoad’s) application to extend the stay on the Order on the ground that there was a “weak prima facie case and no exceptional circumstances existed to warrant the continuation of the stay”.

The Full Court also rejected NatRoad’s plea for a temporary stay pending an urgent intervention by the High Court.

However, the Federal Court has scheduled further consideration hearings on May 9-10.

“The fight has now begun,” Senator Glenn Lazarus posted on his Facebook page.

“My promise to every owner-driver across this country is that we will fight this together.

“I am drafting legislation to abolish the RSRT [Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal]. I will also support the Government’s bill to delay the order and will amend it to extend the delay for 12 months.

“This way we will have a back-up plan regardless. I will not allow the decimation of our mum and dad trucking businesses without a fight.”

Meanwhile, the Transport Workers Union (TWU) is urging the government to support the tribunal after the Federal Court decision today.

“The safe rates Order is now in place and I am urging all parties to end the scaremongering and the lies which have been put out about it,” TWU national secretary Tony Sheldon says.

“This Order will benefit the trucking community, it will begin the process of helping to save lives on the roads and making owner drivers’ businesses more sustainable.”

Unless an application for a stay is made to the High Court, and granted, it appears that the next opportunity to discontinue the Order will present when bills are introduced into the Parliament, the Australian Livestock and Rural Transporters Association (ALRTA) says.

Details about the implications and the operational changes required as a result of today’s verdict are yet to come.

However, a Queensland Trucking Association update shines some light on the issue: “As the Payments Order was not in operation on its original starting date of April 4 by virtue of the stay order made by the Federal Court, there is no backpay or compliance issues members need to address to for the period of  April 4-6.”

Further details to follow.


What has happened since last week?

The ALC, ATA, SARTA and Ai Group called for the abolition of the tribunal owing to its flawed approach to road safety. Read the full story here.

A Government-commissioned review of RSRT was released, wanting major changes made to the RSRT. Read the full story here.

The review even pointed to the benefits in removing the tribunal. Read the full story here.

The RSRT decided not to delay the introduction of mandatory rates for contractor drivers. Read the full breakdown here.

The tribunal used its verdict to slam its opponents. Read the full story here.

Industry bodies joined forces in condemning the decision of the RSRT. Read the full story here.

Later that evening, the Federal Group in Brisbane put a temporary stay on RSRO following an urgent application by NatRoad and ATA. Read the full story here.

Earlier this week, employment minister Michaelia Cash announced the government would push for legislation to delay the start of RSRO to January next year. Read the full story here.

The Transport Workers Union (TWU) announced it would strongly fight the delay. Read the full story here.

Members of the TWU heckled minister Christopher Pyne at a press conference in Adelaide for his views supporting a delay to the RSRO. Read the full story here

The federal government to rely on Senate crossbenchers for legislative changes to delay the Order. Read the full story here.

The government invites industry feedback on the Road Safety Remuneration System policy reforms, releases schedule of review forums. Read the full story here.

Private contractor group Independent Contractors Australia seeks cash to challenge RSRT in the High Court. Read the full story here.



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