Drivers from other transport sectors such as waste, ports, the delivery of fuel and the delivery of cash are awaiting Tribunal rulings aimed at keeping them safe in their jobs. “We’ve spent two years submitting evidence and gathering testimony regarding the delivery of cash and other valuables. This is a dangerous job made all the more dangerous when corners are cut in safety to make a buck. It is vital that the Tribunal is allowed to continue this work or lives will continue to be put at risk,” said Scott McIntyre, an armoured car driver.
The Tribunal will accept submissions over the coming week on a TWU application to defer the safe minimum rates for owner drivers until February next year. It will also seek submissions for an Order to demand that clients pay transport operators within 30 days of work, that fuel price rises and falls are taken into account with the rates and that there is no disincentive to engage owner drivers because of the Order.
“It is time for the Government to stop playing politics with people’s lives. This Tribunal is hearing evidence to address concerns with an Order on safe rates for owner drivers. If the Government moves to abolish the Tribunal it will be turning its back on the families left devastated by deaths from truck crashes where drivers were put under pressure to speed, drive long hours and take risks. It is in the interests of all the community that this Tribunal keeps doing its work,” said TWU National Secretary Tony Sheldon.
The Government’s own reports released recently show that road transport has the “highest fatality rates of any industry in Australia” with 12 times the average for all industries. The reports also show the link between road safety and the pay rates of drivers and that the Tribunal will reduce truck crashes by 28%.
A study by Deakin University showed 323 truck drivers committed suicide between 2001 and 2010. Figures from the Australian Securities and Investments Commission show small transport operators are among the most likely businesses to go bankrupt each year.
* PricewaterhouseCoopers “Review of the Road Safety Remuneration System Final Report January 2016” (PWC Review 2016 – published by the Commonwealth Department of Employment on 1 April, 2016)
Jaguar Consulting Pty Ltd “Review of the Road Safety Remuneration System 16 April, 2014 (Jaguar Consulting 2014 – published by the Commonwealth Department of Employment on 1 April, 2016)