Give truck drivers fixed rates instead of danger money: Frank Black

By: Brad Gardner

Owner-driver representative says paying truck drivers ‘danger money’ will be too hard to manage.


The Australian Trucking Association's (ATA) owner-driver representative has distanced himself from a proposal for truck drivers to receive ‘danger money’, saying they will be better off on fixed minimum rates.

Australian Trucking Association (ATA) owner-driver representative Frank Black believes Steve Corcoran’s bid for employee and contractor drivers to receive a $100 daily tax-free allowance will not work.

Corcoran wants the Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal (RSRT) to require trucking operators to pay ‘danger money’ to recognise the risks drivers face from working in one of Australia’s most dangerous occupations.

"I think you just need to have a safe, sustainable rate. That’s what you need to have," Black tells Owner//Driver.

"To me, if we’ve got safe and sustainable rates, if guys are being paid properly that will make their jobs safer. I don’t think there needs to be an extra fee."

Black, along with the Transport Workers Union (TWU), wants the RSRT to set minimum rates for contractor drivers to ensure they receive enough money to maintain their trucks and do their jobs safely.

Toll and Linfox also oppose the introduction of 'danger money'.

The tribunal is currently engaged in discussions with industry representatives on possible reforms to remuneration.

While supportive of its work to date, Black says he wants the RSRT to move faster on setting rates.

"The more delay there is and the more mucking around there is, the more lives are lost," he says.

"I would like to see the tribunal move along a little quicker…I would like to see them set minimum rates. I really think that is going to go a long way to saving a lot of lives."

The office of federal senator Ricky Muir expressed similar sentiments late last year in a submission that criticised the RSRT’s progress on reforming rates.

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