RSRTs efforts leave ATA NSW members shattered

By: Brad Gardner

State trucking lobby labels RSRT’s order a “monstrosity” and says the tribunal is “flawed”

RSRTs efforts leave ATA NSW members shattered
The ATA NSW believes the RSRT's ruling will impose too much of a paperwork burden on the industry.

New requirements to be imposed on the trucking industry from May 1 have left operators "shattered" and "baffled", according to the New South Wales branch of the Australian Trucking Association (ATA NSW).

The group’s written submission to a review of the Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal (RSRT) takes aim at the tribunal’s decision to impose a number of conditions on the industry later this year covering contracts, payment terms, drug and alcohol policies, training and safe driving plans.

Touching on similar themes raised in submissions from the Australian Logistics Council and the Australian Industry Group, the ATA NSW claims there is already existing legislation in place to deal with safety in the trucking industry and that the tribunal’s work represents administrative overreach.

"The order handed down is nothing more than an administrative control. It burdens small businesses and large with onerous paperwork," ATA NSW Manager Jodie Broadbent writes in the submission to the review.

"Our members are shattered, completely aghast that such a monstrosity has been imposed without any understanding by the RSRT members as to what this will do to our industry."

The ATA NSW, which raised its objections to the order when it was announced last year, claims the tribunal’s ruling will likely lead to a reduction in owner-drivers due to an inability to meet their requirements while also servicing customers.

The group’s submission goes on to argue the amount of extra paperwork required under the ruling will sap industry productivity and fail to lead to any improvement in road safety.

Broadbent says ATA NSW members were "baffled" upon the release of the order because they felt it showed a lack of understanding about the ad hoc nature of the industry.

"Specifically, the RSRT ignored the strong evidence provided by those in industry that this order affects the most," she claims.

The ATA NSW uses National Transport Insurance (NTI) research that found NTI-insured trucks involved in collisions were not at fault to press its case against the tribunal.

"This means trucks are something other road users run into. No heavy vehicle legislation or an administrative control like the RSR [road safety remuneration] order will change that reality; the change must come from those other road users," Broadbent says.

"The Australian Trucking Association, of which ATA NSW is a member, is working hard to educate other road users about sharing the road safely with heavy vehicles."

The review’s terms of reference include assessing whether the RSRT is a regulatory and economic burden on the trucking industry, if other legislation is more effective at improving safety and whether the tribunal has achieved its objectives.

The RSRT has only been in operation for less than two years. It has made one road safety remuneration order and is due to start its second annual work program, which focuses on retail, linehaul and the cash-in-transit sectors.

"We urge the review to find that the RSRT and the model it follows is significantly flawed, fails to address actual, physical controls to improve road safety, and completely disregards the impact and doubling up in terms of legislation already enacted and working well within our community to improve road safety," the ATA NSW says in its submission.


What do you think? Do you agree with the ATA NSW? Leave your thoughts below or contact Owner//Driver.


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