Senator Ricky Muir adds voice to delay call

Independent senator wants a parliamentary committee to decide the validity of the RSRT and the RSRO

Senator Ricky Muir adds voice to delay call
Senator Ricky Muir wants a delay on the RSRO.


Silent for much of the recent debate around the Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal (RSRT) and its Contractor Driver Minimum Payments Road Safety Remuneration Order 2016 (RSRO), independent senator Ricky Muir has now called for a delay on the Order citing issues around the readiness of the industry.

The Australian Motoring Enthusiast Party senator says he has "taken the time to consider both sides of the argument" rather than "jump[ing] on the populist bandwagon," a move that sees him considering the "real story" is yet to be seen.

After sifting through the research, the senator says he has no doubts about the link between road safety and remuneration but concludes the industry isn’t ready for the RSRO.

The senator says the confusion around the Order, and who is should apply to, is something "the Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal should clear up promptly."

"Owner-drivers were making it clear that the safe rates system needs to apply to everyone," he says.  "After all, a safe rate should be a safe rate."

"I have seen legal interpretations from more than one source that the intent of the Order is to be broad; it is not meant to create two different pay rates within the same market. 

"However, there is uncertainty due no doubt to some of the definitions, especially around the term ‘independent contractor’. 

"I understand that Fair Work Australia (FWO) is providing advice based on one interpretation of the Order, whereas at least one legal opinion would suggest that a different interpretation should be applied."

Muir says if the FWO "appears to not be ready," along with a number industry players, it is a situation that calls for a delay.

"I will be supporting legislation to delay its date of effect," he says. "This will hopefully provide the time necessary for all parties to address the issues and concerns raised, especially the situation that allows for owner-drivers to be priced out of the various road transport markets."

"I would encourage all those who have issues with the Order to continue to provide submissions to have it varied. 

"This includes those in farming and rural communities who it seems are particularly impacted."

Not wanting a repeal of the RSRT Bill, Muir wants the upcoming move from the Liberal Party to head to the Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport Legislation Committee to "provide all interested parties the opportunity to put their views forward on their experiences with the RSRT since its inception."

He says "it is evident that the RSRT, in its current form, has lost the confidence of the members of the transport industry," and a parliamentary committee should listen and scrutinise any arguments for and against it.

"This inquiry would report before the Budget," he says. "Should the case be made to abolish the RSRT, it will be done based on factual debate, rather than opportunistic politics with the aim of securing votes at an early election."

The Transport Workers Union (TWU) has also asked for a delay.

Muir has previously backed the creation of the RSRO in 2014.


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