Safer Payment Systems For Heavy Vehicle Drivers

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25th July 2008, 04:33pm - Views: 639










Julia Gillard

Deputy Prime Minister

Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations


Anthony Albanese

Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government


Craig Emerson

Minister for Small Business, Independent Contractors and the Service Economy


Joint Media Statement


PARLIAMENT HOUSE CANBERRA ACT 2600

Telephone: 02 6277 7680   Facsimile: 02 6273 4126


AA092/2008


SAFER PAYMENT SYSTEMS FOR HEAVY VEHICLE DRIVERS


The National Transport Commission (NTC) will investigate and report on driver

remuneration and payment methods in the Australian trucking industry and make

recommendations for reform.


The NTC will be assisted by Professor Michael Quinlan of UNSW and the Hon Lance

Wright QC, the former president of the NSW Industrial Relations Commission.


The NTC will report by November 2008, and the report will be considered by the

Australian Transport Council (ATC – Commonwealth, State and territory transport

ministers).  Working with the ATC, the Government’s objective is to implement these

reforms in the context of changes to national road transport regulation and the

introduction of the new workplace relations system.


The trucking industry prides itself on being highly competitive and efficient. 

However, the industry’s strength can also be its weakness, with truck drivers often

finding themselves in a weak bargaining position and unable to maintain safe work

practices.


This is especially so at a time when hard-working trucking companies and owner-

drivers, who deliver essential food and supplies to supermarket shelves every day,

have been hit hard by rising global fuel prices.


The report will examine how current methods and rates of pay for heavy vehicle

drivers contribute to poor road safety outcomes, and will identify options for

implementing a system of safe rates for both employees and owner-drivers,

recognising the special vulnerabilities of independent contractors in the transport

industry.





People Transport Department Of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development And Local Government 2 image






From 2000-2004, one in five road deaths involved heavy vehicles, with speed and

fatigue widely acknowledged to be significant factors.  During recent years several

reports have also linked unsafe work practices in the trucking industry to road

accidents.


The investigation follows on from an agreement between Commonwealth, state and

territory transport ministers on February 29 concerning the need for a coordinated

national transport plan.  The NTC was requested to review and make recommendations

relating to truck driver pay and remunerations methods.


The Government notes that addressing this matter touches on developments in

Commonwealth and State regulations relating to transport and road safety,

workplace relations, occupational health and safety and the legislative frameworks

for employees and independent contractors.


The Government is committed to working with the transport industry, unions and

other stakeholders to improve road safety for Australian families, ensure a fair go for

both employees and owner-drivers, and sustain the long-term viability of the trucking

industry.


Today’s announcement continues the Government’s heavy vehicle reform process

and complements other safety initiatives, including:


Implementing news laws to limit heavy vehicle driver fatigue and excessive

speed; and

A $70 million safety and productivity package which will fund the trial of

black box technologies that monitor driving hours and speed as well as the

construction of more rest areas along the nation’s highways.




Media Contact:

Jeff Singleton

0410 476 890/

jeff.singleton@infrastructure.gov.au


Friday, 25 July 2008






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