Joint Media Statement with Federal Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, Darren Chester
Country Liberals Senator for the Northern Territory, Nigel Scullion, says the Coalition will move to immediately protect truck owner-drivers from being driven out of business by abolishing the Road Safety Remuneration System.
Senator Scullion said the Turnbull Government would introduce two bills when Parliament returned next week to abolish the Gillard Government’s Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal (RSRT) and provide certainty to tens of thousands of small business owner-drivers across Australia.
The RSRT has set a controversial minimum rates order that industry groups, farmers and truck drivers say will destroy jobs and livelihoods in regional Australia.
If there is insufficient crossbench Senate support to abolish the RSRS next week, the Government will move to put a stay on the RSRT order until January 2017.
Labor and the Greens have so far moved to block its abolition.
Senator Scullion said the Government had listened to the feedback from owner-drivers who wanted the RSRS abolished immediately.
“It has become clear that if we don’t act quickly, there won’t be an owner-driver trucking industry to save once Labor and the Transport Workers Union are finished with it,” Senator Scullion said.
Federal Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, Darren Chester, said the Government was implementing a range of heavy vehicle safety measures.
“It is clear the RSRS is not about promoting safety, but driving up union membership,” Mr Chester said.
“We are working every day through the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator, state and territory governments and local communities to improve road safety.
“The Coalition Government will redirect funding saved by abolishing the RSRT into the NHVR, to promote additional truck safety initiatives.”