Shorten: If Labor wins election, RSRT will be back

Labor to reinstate RSRT and 'safe rates' order if it wins this year's elections

Shorten: If Labor wins election, RSRT will be back
Opposition leader Bill Shorten says that Labor will bring back the 'safe rates' order if his party wins this year's election.


A week after the Federal Parliament voted to scrap the Contractor Driver Minimum Payments Road Safety Remuneration Order 2016 (RSRO), Opposition leader Bill Shorten says that Labor will bring back the minimum rates rule to ensure road safety if his party wins the July election.

Shorten says he is "convinced" of the link between road safety and standard minimum rates for truck drivers and if statistics showed that road safety had deteriorated since the abolition of the rule, Labor would reinstate the Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal (RSRT) to once again set a ‘safe rates’ scheme.

"Labor will work with industry and the unions to bring back a bipartisan forum to establish safe rates of pay in the heavy vehicle industry," a spokesperson for Shorten says.

 "There is a clear link between low rates of pay and unsafe working conditions on the roads - the evidence is in.

"That was the whole point of the RSRT - to ensure truckies did not have an incentive to cut corners."

Shorten’s comment comes after the Transport Workers' Union (TWU) held nationwide protest rallies demanding the Turnbull Government to overturn last week’s decision.

The parliament voted in favour of the abolition of the tribunal 36 votes to 32 after industry, innovation and science minister Christopher Pyne tabled the Bill last Monday.

While industry bodies and many small transport operators rejoiced at the news, Labor and the union said the decision was not thought through.

The union also accused Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman (ASBFEO) Kate Carnell for not consulting with owner-drivers before expressing her support to the termination of the RSRT – a charge rejected by Carnell’s office.

After the tribunal was abolished, the federal government announced that it would redirect part of the $4 million annual funding to the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) to implement a range of heavy vehicle focused safety initiatives, including a high-tech network monitoring system.

Infrastructure and transport minister Darren Chester says "funding allocated to the former Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal will now be better utilised to develop new targeted safety measures including monitoring of heavy vehicles with a national network of cameras."



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