Weekly News – ALRTA Rejects Draft Remuneration Order

ALRTA REJECTS DRAFT REMUNERATION ORDER

The Australian Livestock and Rural Transporters Association (ALRTA) has rejected the draft Road Safety Remuneration Order (RSRO) – Contractor Driver Minimum Payment Road Safety Remuneration Order 2016 – in its current form.

The RSRO proposes to establish mandatory minimum payments for all contract drivers, usually known as owner-drivers.

ALRTA President Grant Robins said the draft RSRO is unworkable in the rural transport sector.

“The Australian road transport industry is made up of many different types of vehicles, freight, tasks, operating conditions and prevailing charging structures.  It is simply not possible to set one type of minimum rate for the entire freight contracting industry”, said President Robins.

“The rural transport sector is particularly complex.  Owner-drivers are prime contractors one day and sub-contractors the next.  A single return trip can involve multiple customers and destinations, mixed loads, part loads, empty running between some loading points, and ‘side work’ that happens to fit in with the primary task being undertaken,” he said.

“The minimum rates as proposed do not take this complexity into account and will lead to increased confusion and disputes.  Some trucks would have to run empty even when there is viable freight available because the proposed rates are too simplistic and far too high,” he said.

In a submission to the Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal, the ALRTA has also cited concerns that the RSRO will push owner-drivers out of the industry in favour or employee drivers.

“On first glance, some owner-drivers may be attracted to the prospect of an increase in their rates.  However, prime contractors who use their own vehicles staffed with employee drivers will not be subject to the minimum rates in the draft order and will be free to accept work at comparatively lower rates”, said President Robins.

“Prime contractors will not sub-contract work to owner-drivers when they are forced to pay rates in excess of that which they are charging as the prime contractor.  This will effectively price owner-drivers out of the market and will force a structural shift towards employee drivers.  The big fleets will get bigger and this will come at the expense of smaller operators, many of whom will lose their business and personal assets during the transition”, he said.

The ALRTA has identified a range of other problems with the RSRO including new layers of red-tape arising from increased audits, impacts on pre-existing contracts and the apparent requirement to pay contract drivers for long rest breaks.

ALRTA EXECUTIVE TERMS TO COMMENCE 1 OCTOBER

At a Special General Meeting on 3 July 2015, the Australian Livestock and Rural Transporters Association (ALRTA) resolved to adopt fixed one-year terms for all Executive positions.  The results of the most recent AGM election will take effect from 1 October 2015.

Victorian owner-driver Kevin Keenan will assume the role of National President.   The other Executive Positions are:

  • Vice President – Graeme Hoare (NSW)
  • Vice President – Stephen Marley (WA)
  • Treasurer – Ron Pattel (QLD)
  • Secretary – John Beer (VIC)
  • ATA Representative – David Smith (SA)
  • Immediate Past President – Grant Robins (WA)

Current ALRTA President, Grant Robins, congratulated Mr Keenan on his election.

“Being National President of a federated association is a challenging role.  You can’t do it without the support of all six member states.  I congratulate Kevin on his unanimous election to the position and wish him every success during his term”, said Mr Robins.

Mr Keenan has previously held positions as the ALRTA Vice President and President of the Livestock and Rural Transporters Association of Victoria (LRTAV).

“The ALRTA is a strong national association with a proud 30 year history and I look forward to serving the interests of all rural carriers as National President”, said Mr Keenan.

“I thank Grant for his passion and hard work over the past year and acknowledge his successes with our national ramps guide, AFM template, 160km work diary exemption, ABS braking exemption and the truckCare/TruckSafe merger”, he said.

TURNBULL ANNOUNCES NEW MINISTRY

As is expected in the circumstances, newly sworn in Prime Minister Turnbull has announced a Ministerial reshuffle which includes some changes relevant to the ALRTA’s interests.

Some key appointments of interest are now as follows.

  • Minister for Infrastructure & Regional Development, The Hon Warren Truss MP
  • Assistant Minister to the Deputy Prime Minister, The Hon Michael McCormack MP
  • Treasurer, The Hon Scott Morrison MP
  • Minister for Small Business & Assistant Treasurer, The Hon Kelly O’Dwyer MP
  • Assistant Minister to the Treasurer,  Mr Alex Hawke MP
  • Minister for the Environment, The Hon Greg Hunt MP
  • Minister for Cities and the Built Environment, The Hon Jamie Briggs MP
  • Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, The Hon Barnaby Joyce MP
  • Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resource, Senator Anne Ruston
  • Minister for Employment, Senator the Hon Michaelia Cash
  • Minister for Resources, Energy & Northern Australia, The Hon Josh Frydenberg MP

ATA COUNCIL MEETS

The ALRTA was represented at this week’s ATA Council meeting by LBCA Councillor Lynley Miners and ALRTA Executive Director, Mathew Munro. The ATA Council discussed a range of important issues including the proposed Road Safety Remuneration Order, electronic work diaries and operator licensing.  Council members were also taken on a tour of the new building works underway (or soon to be underway) to upgrade the ATA building to a more modern standard.

The next ATA Council meeting is scheduled for 18 November 2015.

ALRTA STAFF ON LEAVE

Members are advised that the ALRTA Executive Director and Office Manager will be on leave next week.  The ALRTA Marketing Manager and LBCA General Manager will be on hand for enquiries.

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