The Federal Government’s decision to abolish the Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal (RSRT) in Parliament has been celebrated by WAFarmers.
The Road Safety Remuneration Repeal Bill 2016 was passed by both Houses of Parliament yesterday, and will take effect from Friday 22 April.
The decision to scrap the RSRT came off the back of significant pressure from truck drivers over the weekend in Canberra and ongoing advocacy from national and state farming organisations, key industry groups, and farmers.
WAFarmers President Tony York said the decision was long overdue, and would give drivers greater certainty for the future of their businesses.
“Truck drivers and small transport businesses play an integral role in the ongoing development and growth of Australia’s agricultural sector, and could not be further subjected to the threat to their livelihoods that the RSRT represented,” Mr York said.
“Since the introduction of the RSRT in 2012 by the Gillard Labor Government, there had been no indication that mandated higher rates of pay have resulted in safer outcomes in the road transport industry.
“Additionally, the Contractor Driver Minimum Payments Road Safety Remuneration Order 2016, which is quite difficult to understand, significantly altered the environment for drivers when it was introduced last year, with the collective changes increasing the risk that it would price many small owner-operators out of the market.
“The repeal is great news for farmers and rural businesses, as they can now get back to the work at hand without fear of increases in transport costs or fines.
“We congratulate everyone involved in achieving this milestone.”
Mr York said the abolition of the RSRT had highlighted the government’s continuing support of the agriculture industry as a key priority for the future of the Australian economy.
All media requests must be directed to WAFarmers Media and Communications Officer Melanie Dunn on (08) 9486 2100 or [email protected].