Vic gov to hold owner-driver pay inquiry

State government looks to RSRT in new inquiry into owner-drivers and forestry contractors

Vic gov to hold owner-driver pay inquiry
The legacy of the RSRT continues.


The Victorian government will review the laws regulating owner-drivers and forestry contractors, announcing an inquiry into the industry’s practices post the Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal (RSRT).

Stating that "economic pressures" have "forced some drivers into unsafe practices", the state-run review is seeking submissions by the end of January next year.

The inquiry comes after the "the Victorian Inquiry into Labour Hire Industry and Insecure Work recently heard evidence on a range of issues regarding rates of pay, certainty of working hours, and occupational health and safety for tip truck owner drivers," a government statement says, and will "look at the inquiry’s recommendations, including a code of practice for the tip truck industry and the threshold requirements on hirers to provide applicable rates and costs to owner drivers."

It will also "examine contracting requirements and dispute resolution mechanisms available to owner drivers, and seek to address any avoidance of rights and responsibilities under the ODFC Act and Regulations," the statement says.

The move by the Labor government in Victoria follows a decision by the Liberal federal government to abolish the RSRT installed by the previous Labor federal government.

The tribunal was officially removed in April, just weeks after it came into existence, and saw the Liberal party and NatRoad go head to head with the Transport Workers’ Union (TWU) and the Labor party in a war of words.

Both sides claimed they had owner-drivers’ best wishes in mind.

The topic is already the subject of an Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman (ASBFEO) Kate Carnell-led inquiry, backed by the then federal small business minister Kelly O’Dwyer.

To make a submission to the new inquiry, information on the terms of reference and correct address are available here.

It is open until January 31.



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