Treatment of tribunal ‘appalling’: Linfox

By: Brad Gardner

One of trucking’s biggest players believes people acted inappropriately during recent RSRT hearing.

Treatment of tribunal ‘appalling’: Linfox
Not impressed: Linfox says some people acted in an "appalling" manner during a recent RSRT hearing.


Linfox has scolded owner-drivers and their supporters for the way they treated members of the Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal (RSRT) during a recent hearing, labelling their behaviour "appalling".

One of the nation’s largest trucking operators has come to the defence of the RSRT, which during a March 15 hearing in Brisbane on applications to vary the impending minimum rates scheme came under heavy criticism from those in attendance.

At various stages the tribunal had run-ins with individuals and at one point threatened to boot everyone out of the hearing room for clapping.

Owner-driver Sean Hester warned the RSRT it risked sending businesses broke and then labelled it "a goddamn farce", Tracey Zimmerman chided RSRT president Jennifer Acton for being "rude" and Rocky’s Own Transport CEO Bryan Smith interrupted proceedings to voice his concerns.

Other attendees cheered and clapped in support of Hester and Zimmerman.

While Linfox has not singled out any one person or incident for criticism, it claims in a submission lodged with the RSRT that some of behaviour was out of line.

"The behaviour of various parties who appeared before the Tribunal on Tuesday 15 March 2016 was, at times, appalling and Linfox wishes to distance itself from any of those parties," Linfox’s legal representative Maurice Baroni writes.

Some in the trucking industry believe they have been denied a voice in the debate on minimum payments for owner-drivers, but Linfox has expressed support for how the RSRT has operated.

"Linfox also submits the the Tribunal has given every opportunity for interested parties to make submissions and/or bring evidence to the various conferences and hearings that the Tribunal has held in relation to this matter over a significantly long period of time," Baroni writes.

Linfox is a big-name backer of minimum pay rates, but it believes the regime should be delayed and the rates phased in. However, it says the tribunal should decide on a revised date and whether transitional measures should be included.

"Linfox has always maintained and supported the making of a road safety remuneration order which would, amongst other things, deal with rates of remuneration for contractors, that being the phrase used in the [Road Safety Remuneration] Act," Baroni writes.

"Linfox’s position in that respect has not changed and moreover it continues to support the Tribunal."

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