A requirement to pay drivers on time was in place since May 2014 until it was abolished along with the system examining safety in trucking last April. Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman Kate Carnell joined the Federal Government and industry lobby groups in opposing the system, which also delivered minimum rates for drivers and held wealthy clients to account for the rates.
“Kate Carnell helped abolish 30-day payment terms for drivers, now she will waste taxpayers money setting up an inquiry into bringing it back in. She has politicised the office of the independent Ombudsman and has abandoned small transport businesses to the wealthy clients which exploit them,” said TWU National Secretary Tony Sheldon.
“Drivers now wait up to 120 days for payment all because Ms Carnell and her friends in Government and industry lobby groups shot this down. This industry is struggling and she is doing nothing to help it,” he added.
Owner driver Frank Black said late payments put extra pressure on transport businesses, which are already subsisting on meagre margins. “Chasing after payment months after you’ve done a job adds to the pressure. That along with low rates contribute to drivers being pushed to take risks on the roads – speeding, driving long hours and forgoing maintenance,” he said.