RSRT agenda too ambitious for industry groups

By: Brad Gardner

Ai Group and ARTIO claim entire trucking industry could be investigated if RSRT plan goes ahead.

RSRT agenda too ambitious for industry groups
In the spotlight: All sectors of the trucking industry may face scrutiny in 2016.


The entire trucking industry could potentially be investigated next year under the Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal’s proposed work program.

Industry representative groups have warned the tribunal that its draft agenda for 2016 is so broad in scope that it could allow all sectors to be scrutinised.

The draft work program, released for feedback in November, proposes inquiries into the road transport and distribution industry as it is defined in the Road Transport and Distribution Award and the Road Transport (Long Distance Operations) Award.

The definition of ‘road transport and distribution industry’ is broad to the point where it encompasses the road transport of any goods, along with the receiving, handling, storing and distribution of goods.

The Australian Industry Group (Ai Group), which represents NatRoad and Road Freight New South Wales, says the draft program is "unrealistically broad" and indicates all sectors of the industry will be targeted.

"It proposes that the Tribunal will inquire into all sectors in the road transport and distribution industry," the group says of the draft in a submission to the RSRT.

"Given the breadth of organisations and operations that will fall into the above definition (noting that it covers more than just transport companies), combined with the diversity of the associated supply chains, it is clear that the Tribunal is proposing to inquire into a vast array of highly diverse businesses and organisations."

The Ai Group says the RSRT’s agenda should be clear and realistically targeted so that those likely to be affected can engage with the tribunal or representative bodies.

"Further, given the Tribunal currently has a number of inquiries or proceedings as part of the third annual work program that appear to be incomplete, we respectfully suggest that [the] focus of the Tribunal’s inquiries should be on completing this work, rather than commencing any new inquiries," it says.

Likewise, the Australian Road Transport Industrial Organisation (ARTIO) claims the RSRT’s draft program will apply to every sector, operator, contractor, employer and employee within the industry.

"It is our view that the Draft is broad in its content and application," the ARTIO has written to the RSRT.

"Accordingly, ARTIO submits that should the Tribunal be minded to introduce additional sectors of the industry to be examined, it should identify which specific sectors in the road transport and distribution industry…it intends to examine."

The RSRT’s draft work program also proposes finalising current inquiries into the waste management, wharf and port, cash in transit, and the oil, fuel and gas sectors.

The Transport Workers Union (TWU) says it intends to ask the tribunal to address long payment terms in the trucking industry and investigate the courier and parcel delivery sector in 2016.

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