A Message To Big Business - We Will Not Allow You To Undermine The Sustainability Of Our Truckies

Release date: 12/08/2015

MEDIA RELEASE, Senator John Williams and Senator Glenn Sterle, 12 August 2015

Two Senators who are also former truck drivers have warned big businesses to stop hammering transport operators over terms of payments.

Nationals Senator John Williams and Labor Senator Glenn Sterle have crossed the political divide to make a stand for transport companies and their workers who are being forced to wait up to four months to be paid by some major Australian retailers and big business.

Senator Williams has sighted a memo from a company which told the transport operator that they would be paid 90 days after the month in which the invoice was generated. That means that work carried out on the 15th of August would not be paid until the 15th of December.

“This is outrageous. The transport company has to pay its drivers and staff in 7 days, it has to pay its fuel bill in 30 days, plus parts suppliers and finance payments at the end of each month,” Senator Williams said.

“But they are being asked to extend credit to much bigger businesses for up to 120 days.”

Senator Sterle said that this practice would have a terrible impact on transport operators and their workers.

“If one of these companies fails and cannot pay their suppliers, the transport company can be hundreds of thousands of dollars out of pocket. This can only lead to dangerous cost cutting and a lowering of industry safety standards,” Senator Sterle said.

“The intent of The Road Safety and Remuneration Tribunal’s first order is for transport companies to be paid in a timely manner, but this is obviously being ignored.”

Both Senator Sterle and Senator Williams said that they were looking at ways to ensure that payments to operators were made in a period no longer than 30 days.

A range of options, including a Senate Inquiry were being actively considered.

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