We demanded a seat at the table, and we got one

At the end of 2010, our National Council identified the so-called ‘Safe Rates’ agenda as something that could have a big impact on our members’ future.

We put a lot of effort into our initial submission to the Government – Councillors worked on that document for a solid three months, running right through their Christmas break and well into 2011.

After the submission was lodged, we put even more effort into making sure that we’d have a real impact on what the Government might actually do. The last thing we wanted was to see the bureaucracy writing legislation without our input and only hearing from the big end of the industry.

After knocking on various doors in Government and Parliament, up to and including the Prime Minister’s Office, it became clear we’d probably get a seat at the table if we really wanted one. Both National Council and the National Executive gave very clear instructions: our voice must be heard, get us in the room.

In late 2011, we received the written invitation to join the official consultative group.

That meant we were allowed to see the draft legislation as the bureaucrats wrote it, and suggest a lot of changes and improvements.

In National Council’s original submission, we called any new regulator to take a cautious, flexible and case-by-case approach, to avoid any suggestion of ‘one-size-fits-all’ across industry, to allow any change to happen in stages so that impacts can be assessed, and be mindful of commercial impacts and compliance costs.

In that submission and subsequently, we also called for any new regulator to be able to deliver real improvements on things that would make a real difference for our members:

  • Getting paid for (excessive) waiting time;
  • Getting invoices paid in full, on time;
  • Getting paid for on-costs caused by customers, such as the cost of washouts; and
  • Getting legal backing for industry standards and accreditation schemes.

National Council was recently given a detailed assessment of how the Bill stacks up against our submission. A copy is here. This News primarily shares with our members what National Council’s been told in that assessment.

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