RSRT plans visits to transport operators

Tribunal members will this month stop in at transport sites as part of the development of road safety remuneration orders

RSRT plans visits to transport operators
RSRT plans visits to transport operators
By Brad Gardner | April 2, 2013

The Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal (RSRT) will visit transport sites in April as part of its work on the development of orders setting rates and conditions for truck drivers and sub-contractors.

RSRT President Jennifer Acton (pictured) has flagged visits to sites relevant to truck drivers, their employers or hirers and other businesses in the supply chain before any road safety remuneration orders are made.

The orders can set minimum rates and conditions that all parties must meet, including payment for loading and unloading, waiting time and payment terms.

The RSRT late last year invited parties to submit proposed orders, and groups such as the Transport Workers Union (TWU), the Australian Road Transport Industrial Organisation (ARTIO) and the Australian Livestock and Rural Transporters Association (ALRTA) lodged submissions.

Acton has given stakeholders until April 22 to respond to the proposals, which range from calling for paid waiting time, 30-day payment terms, a training levy and an RSRT-approved cost model for determining sustainable freight rates.

"It is intended that the material received to date, the written comments received on that material and the transport and logistics sites’ visits will inform the Tribunal’s later task of preparing one or more draft road safety remuneration orders," Acton says in a statement.

"A list of the transport and logistics sites the Tribunal has been invited to and intends to visit and the time and dates for the visits will be posted on the Tribunal’s website."

Acton says the RSRT will use the site visits to consult relevant parties, which is a requirement the tribunal must meet before making any orders.

The RSRT announced in December last year it would inquire into the retail, livestock, bulk grain and the interstate and intrastate long distance sectors in 2013.

Owner-driver representative Frank Black and the ARTIO want greater flexibility for trucking operators regarding timeslots and for the tribunal to guarantee sub-contractors will be paid for all work performed.

Black says a cost model should be developed that provides for full cost recovery.

The TWU lodged lengthy submissions targeting the retail and linehaul sectors.

Under its plan, supply chain customers will pay a levy that will be funnelled into industry-specific training and assistance schemes. Customers will also need to cover the cost of time spent queuing, and loading and unloading trucks.

Furthermore, the union wants bills to be settled within 14 days of work being completed and for owner-drivers to be paid for supplying gear such as trailers, ropes and twistlocks.

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