The Trucking Industry has Praised the Senate’s Plan to Close Loopholes

by IS_Indust

It has urged the government to make amendments to the road transport sections of the bill in accordance with the Senate committee report, as stated by ATA CEO Mathew Munro today. The report from the Senate Education and Employment Committee was released earlier this week.

Government senators on the committee have suggested passing the bill with amendments to the road transport sections. These amendments would grant the Fair Work Commission the authority to issue minimum standards orders for owner drivers. The proposed changes in their report aim to empower the commission to issue orders related to the entire contract chain, extending beyond just owner drivers. The current bill allows the government to regulate this aspect.

Mr. Munro emphasized that incorporating this authority directly into the bill would offer greater assurance for the industry, aligning with the ATA’s stance outlined in their submission. He stressed the significance of road transport industry contractual chain orders, emphasizing that the Act should explicitly outline the commission’s powers instead of deferring them to future regulations. The report recommends introducing a fail-safe mechanism allowing the minister or the commission, upon application, to defer or suspend an order during a review.

Mr. Munro underscored the need for a failsafe mechanism, emphasizing that it would entail a novel role for the commission in issuing orders related to business-to-business transactions. He stressed the importance of including the failsafe mechanism directly in the Act rather than deferring it to future regulations.

The report suggests the Government assess the feasibility of amending the bill to mandate the inclusion of owner drivers or their representatives on a subcommittee of the road transport advisory group when deliberating on minimum standards orders pertaining to owner drivers. Mr. Munro urged the Government to extend its efforts beyond the committee’s recommendations.

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