RSRT focuses on the present with 2016 work program

By: Brad Gardner, Photography by: Brad Gardner

Tribunal's work program for 2016 will aim to complete existing inquiries.

RSRT focuses on the present with 2016 work program
Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal president Jennifer Acton.


The Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal will go into next year intent on finishing off existing inquiries, amid the rollout of changes to owner-driver remuneration.

The RSRT has decided to enact its draft 2016 work program unchanged, meaning it will focus on completing inquiries into the waste management, wharf and port, cash in transit, and the oil, fuel and gas sectors.

The work program also lists inquiries into the transport and distribution and linehaul parts of the trucking industry — a move that has prompted concerns within the industry.

Industry bodies such as the Australian Road Transport Industry Association (ARTIO) and the Australian Industry Group (Ai Group) wanted the RSRT to specify the areas that would be looked at, but the tribunal decided to ignore the proposal.

"We have decided not to alter the draft fourth AWP [annual work program]. The AWP in the draft enables the Tribunal to work towards completing its current inquiries," RSRT president Jennifer Acton says in her ruling announcing the work program.

"Further, we are not persuaded we should remove, narrow or elaborate on the sectors in the road transport and distribution industry and long distance operations in the private transport industry which were included in the draft fourth AWP. To do so may undesirably limit the scope of the inquiries in the fourth AWP."

The RSRT says relevant sectors will be notified if inquiries will be held, such as in case of the wharf and ports sector.

"The timetable and processes for the conduct of any inquiry into the fourth AWP will also be published on the Tribunal’s website as they are developed," Acton says.

"The timetable and processes will provide the opportunity for all those interested in promoting safety and fairness in the relevant sectors of the road transport industry, including regulatory agencies, to make submissions and, as appropriate, give evidence to the Tribunal and take part in any site inspections."

The release of the RSRT’s agenda for 2016 coincides with the announcement that mandatory minimum rates for contractor drivers will begin on April 4 next year.

From April, contractor drivers involved in supermarket delivery or linehaul work will need to receive a minimum rate that will vary based on the grade they fall into, similar to how employee truck drivers are remunerated.

Furthermore, contractor drivers will need to receive payment for time spent waiting in queues, loading or unloading freight, taking mandatory fatigue management rests and time spent recording information.

Hirers will also need to pay contractors for the time they spend cleaning, inspecting, servicing or repairing a vehicle or trailer the hirer provides.

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