Trucking has a new enemy


Controversial Owner//Driver columnist The Interstater says Kate Carnell’s post-RSRT report shows she doesn’t get it and the industry has missed a chance because of it

Trucking has a new enemy
"The RSRT was the first and last chance to increase rates into the future," The Interstater says.

 

Writing in the October issue of Owner//Driver, The Interstater has had enough of "the very dangerous" Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman (ASBFEO) Kate Carnell and her "notion that legislating rates of pay is not the way to go to ensure greater safety within the trucking industry."

"She says in a report about the failed Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal (RSRT) that some of the major safety concerns raised by the industry during consultation were nothing to do with remuneration.

"Well, if that’s the case, then she must know more about our industry than we do."

Criticising her for listening "to the industry associations that pushed hard to prevent their little shindig from collapsing," The Interstater says "the intelligent owner-drivers never got to have their viewpoint explored or explained."

"They were, as usual, too busy out there trying to make ends meet, trying to earn enough to keep the wheels turning, while those that were in a position to nullify the facts and distort the truth were readily available to blindside the opposition," the columnist says.

"They knew only too well that the RSRT was the first and last chance to increase rates into the future, regardless of the short term damage that it may or may not have evoked.

 "You’d be forgiven for thinking that no-one should need to spell out exactly how rates affect safety, but unfortunately it seems that that is the case.

"You see Ms Carnell, if you have a B-double, for example, and you are getting $3,200 to go from Melbourne to Brisbane, and it takes from Monday morning until Wednesday afternoon to get it delivered, and once all the costs are equated you have made as little as $100s for that load, you are not going to be able to keep the maintenance up to your vehicle.

"If that continues to be the trend over the whole month, then you are not only in a lot of financial trouble, you will soon be out of business.

"However, if you had been paid for all of the time that you were gainfully employed to do all that was involved in the cartage of that freight, then the grand total would put you in a position where safety would be much easier to factor into your working life."

The Interstater says the only way forward for the industry is to switch to an hourly-based system.

"Being paid per tonne, per load, is the root cause of the situation," The Interstater says.

"What the ASBFEO and all the employer associations like the Australian Trucking Association, NatRoad, the Australian Road Transport Industrial Organisation (ARTIO) and state-based associations need to be pushing for is a new way of pricing and valuing the task that trucking does.

"The only way to effect the financial security of trucking into the future is through hourly charging.

"The flow on effect of being able to also pay drivers hourly for all that they do will increase safety levels to never been seen before levels.

"But Kate Carnell won’t do anything about this endemic problem trucking is living because her little organisation isn’t about trucking, or safety, or freight transportation.

"It’s about being seen to be doing something to justify the existence of the ASBFEO. We have seen that on Q&A, and we have seen it all through her long career path."

To read more of The Interstater’s views on this and other topics, read his full column in the October 2016 issue of Owner//Driver.

 

 

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