12:31 pm, Wednesday 21 March, 2012
The new law sets up a Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal which will set minimum pay rates and conditions, resolve disputes and check into industry practices. The government believes that the tribunal can help address illegal drug use and speeding and will ensure that truck drivers are not under much financial pressure to meet deadlines.
In a report by ABC News, the laws follow the “safe rates” campaign of the Transport Workers Union which lobbied for more regulation to protect drivers from the pressure of working longer hours, speed or take drugs.
Labor Senator Glenn Sterle was disappointed when the Coalition voted against the law. Senator Sterle said that generations of his family are truck drivers.
“Challenge me to a debate on road safety – the link between road safety, remuneration fatigue and our truckies getting home each night to their family,” said Senator Sterle.
The peak body representing companies with large transport networks, such as Coles and Woolworths said that the bill will not improve the safety of truck drivers.
“All it will do is give a tribunal under the Fair Work Australia the ability to intervene in contracts between parties,” said Australian Logistics Council chief executive Michael Kilgariff.
“It will limit the ability of executives to be able to run their businesses in the most efficient manner, and there’s no evidence to suggest that it will lead to is a safer outcome in the industry.”