“Malcolm Turnbull is defunding and abolishing independent judicial investigations into holding banks, oil companies, retailers, manufacturers and ports and wharves to account for unsafe, economic pressure on their transport supply chains. These are the same people who bankroll the Coalition’s Liberal National Party,” said TWU National Secretary Tony Sheldon.
The move will devastate truck drivers in transport sectors around Australia, desperate for the minimum safe rates which will tackle the root causes of the high death toll in truck crashes on the roads and bankruptcies and suicides among drivers.
“The prime minister’s own reports show that road transport has the
‘highest fatality rates of any industry in Australia’ with 12 times the average for all industries*. His own reports show that this Tribunal will reduce truck crashes by 28%*. Yet he is attacking the Tribunal – the one body which can provide a solution. It is clear he is doing this because this Tribunal will hold the major companies which are his party’s donors to account for the low cost contracts they give out to transport operators,” said Sheldon.
A government consultation on the reports and “reform options” for the Tribunal were due to take place from Monday to Friday this week around the country. It was unclear if these consultations are still taking place given the Prime Minister’s unilateral decision today to oppose the Tribunal.
Driver Jeff Oudsen said today that change in the industry was desperately needed. “Drivers are being pushed to go over their hours and take risks. This is impacting on the safety of drivers and members of the public. I’d like Malcolm Turnbull to put himself in our seat and do what we do every day and tell us we don’t need change and that we don’t need this Tribunal,” he said.
* 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)