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Prime Mover Magazine

ATA agrees on proposed industry position regarding possible re-establishment of RSRT

The Australian Trucking Association (ATA) announced today that its General Council has unanimously agreed on the industry’s approach to the possible re-establishment of the Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal (RSRT).

The General Council includes associations representing thousands of small businesses, elected owner-driver and small fleet representatives, and major logistics companies.

“This unified decision highlights the power of our council,” said ATA CEO Ben Maguire.

“Through robust and respectful discussion, we reached a unanimous agreement on the ATA’s position and role on this important issue,” he said.

The meeting outcome reaffirmed the council’s opposition to government-imposed price fixing, with concerns raised about Labor’s new national policy of enforcing fixed prices on all parties in the supply chain.

“Our council agrees that everyone in the industry should be paid sustainably and promptly. We particularly support practical measures that would assist owner-drivers and small fleet operators, including mandatory 30-day payment terms,” said Maguire.

“The ATA is keen to work with the Labor Party to make sure its policy approach would improve safety and working conditions for everyone, without creating a fixed pricing regime based on spreadsheets in a Fair Work Commission office rather than real world costs and practices,” he said.

The practical safety measures agreed upon by the ATA General Council include the need for mandating Autonomous Emergency Braking for all new trucks; increasing the quality and quantity of driver rest areas, with more support for Rod Hannifey’s pioneering work on marking informal rest areas;
enabling the Australian Transport Safety Bureau to provide independent, no-blame safety investigations for road crashes involving heavy vehicles; and reviewing the prescriptive work and rest hours, including work and rest hour tolerances for electronic work diaries.

“The industry’s safety record is continuing to improve, including since the abolition of the RSRT, although we recognise that we still have much to do,” said Maguire.

“The most recent data from the Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics shows fatal crashes involving articulated trucks decreased 16 per cent in the 12 months ended September 2018 compared to the year ended September 2017.”

“In NSW alone, we have seen a 28 per cent decrease of heavy vehicle fatal crashes in the 12 months to February 2019,” he said.

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