The application includes a delay for the first phase of minimum safe rates for long-distance owner drivers to January next year.
The application also seeks a ruling to ensure transport operators are paid by clients within 30 days of completing work, that changes be made to the current Order on split loads and back loads and that a mechanism be included to adjust the rates in line with fuel prices.
Full transparency is also been sought for client contracts to ensure they allow for all costs to be covered by transport operators including employee driver minimum rates, insurance, maintenance of fleets, superannuation and fuel.
“This application today is in line with what we were trying to agree with industry before Malcolm Turnbull got involved in this debate and turned road safety into a political football. This Order can be fixed to address concerns but we will not be serving the interests of the trucking community by axing the one body which is tackling their problems,” said TWU National Secretary Tony Sheldon.
“Truck drivers have the highest workplace deaths, they suffer from chronic fatigue, stress, mental health problems and are among the highest numbers for suicide and bankruptcies. If Mr Turnbull doesn’t think there is a problem with trucking at present that needs addressing he is living in a bubble,” he added.
Drivers from the cash delivery sector, ports, delivery of fuel, waste, retail and manufacturers will lose out if the Tribunal is abolished, with investigations ongoing in these sectors.
Armoured car driver Scott McIntyre involved in the delivery of cash and valuables said abolishing the Tribunal would devastate drivers in the sector. “I’ve had friends shot and killed. This industry needs minimum standards and this is what the Tribunal has spent two years investigating. People should not be expected to put their lives at risk because banks don’t want to pay for safety,” he said.
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)