February 8, 2024


Transport workers, employers and associations have commended the Albanese Government and assenting parliamentarians on the Senate passing world-leading reform to enforce safer, fairer standards for transport workers including gig workers.

Transport Workers’ Union National Secretary Michael Kaine said:

“The passing of this bill is a watershed moment for the transport industry which has united to push for regulation to enforce safer, fairer and more sustainable standards. This reform will save lives, will quell the threat of exploitative gig competition, and will make transport businesses more viable.

“When this reform comes into effect, gig economy workers will gain rights and protections that cannot be evaded by words in a contract or a classification label. This is a sophisticated, world first solution to a global industrial crisis. Australia is leading the way to eradicating century-old exploitation that resurfaced under the guise of newfangled tech.”

Australian Road Transport Industrial Organisation Secretary Peter Anderson said:

“This legislation will bring positive change to our industry. It is a triumph of our unity that this reform has now passed. Unlikely allies came together over the shared goal to make transport fair, sustainable and viable. Most significantly, this legislation will give us the necessary protections to stave off exploitative gig competition that threatened to take down traditional transport operators. If the industry remains united, the future is bright for the transport industry.”

National Road Transport Association CEO Warren Clark said:

“We all want a safe and sustainable transport industry. We can’t and shouldn’t keep losing operators to insolvency. This legislation must be sensibly implemented to help make transport more viable, boost productivity and support the economy. My members and I will be working diligently to drive those outcomes but we can’t do it alone. The entire industry and governments must work together to establish standards that will enable road transport to thrive.”

National Road Freighters Association Vice President Glyn Castanelli said:

“This is a fantastic outcome and a great step towards lifting standards for truck drivers just trying to get the job done. Minimum standards will give owner drivers at the bottom of the food chain the ability to negotiate fair and sustainable work. This has the potential to be life-saving and life-changing for transport families across the country.”

FBT Transwest Managing Director Cameron Dunn said:

“This is the first time in decades that the industry has come together and agreed on the way forward. Over recent years and right up to today, we’ve come to Parliament House and advocated together for standards in transport. A good business is a safe business. A safe business is a sustainable business. This is what this bill will deliver. It will allow people to come to work and go home safely.”

Transport Education Audit Compliance Health Organisation Chair Paul Ryan said:

“This legislation has been years in the making but will have a lasting impact for years upon years to come. Decades of evidence has shown minimum standards will make transport safer, fairer and more sustainable. Standards can take exploitation out of the gig economy. Now the hard work begins to use this legislation to its full potential.”

International Transport Workers’ Federation General Secretary Stephen Cotton said:

“This is world leading legislation that will inspire people around the world. Pressure on transport workers is a global issue, including gig economy exploitation. Rights and standards for transport workers in Australia shows other countries the same is possible.”

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