Release type: Media Release

Date:

Establishment of the Safe Rates Advisory Group

Ministers:

The Hon Julia Gillard MP
Minister for Education. Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations
Minister for Social Inclusion
Deputy Prime Minister

The first meeting of the Safe Rates Advisory Group will be held in Melbourne tomorrow, hosted by the Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations, Julia Gillard.

Australia’s truck drivers work hard and they shouldn’t have to risk dying or being injured just to make a living.

This is why rates of pay, conditions and methods of payment in the transport industry must not be allowed to encourage drivers to speed, overload their trucks, drive excessive hours or skimp on vehicle maintenance. This is an issue that affects not only drivers, but all those who share the road with heavy vehicles.

The work of the new Safe Rates Advisory Group will build on the National Transport Commission’s (NTC) review into payment methods and safety in the heavy vehicle industry released late last year and will develop detailed options to implement those recommendations on a national basis.

This new body will provide expert industry advice to the Government to develop a detailed Policy Options Paper. This Paper will form the basis of a wider consultation process in mid-2010 and will include an opportunity for wider industry and public feedback as well as consultation with the states and territories.

Transport is a national industry that crosses State borders. That is why the Rudd Government, through COAG, has announced the creation of a single national safety regulator for heavy vehicles. This is also why the Government has pursued award modernisation - for the road transport industry, 74 state and federal awards have been reduced to just 2 simple modern awards that apply to the whole country.

The Rudd Government understands that this is a national problem needing a national solution.

The members of the Advisory Group include representatives of employer and employee organisations, individual businesses, industry clients and regulation and safety experts.

Improving the safety of heavy vehicle drivers is an important and complex issue. The establishment of the Safe Rates Advisory Group and proposed wider consultations with industry and State and Territory governments will make sure that the issue is tackled in a consultative way aimed at finding practical solutions which achieve both safety and efficiency in the industry.

Safe Rate Advisory Group membership

Independent Chair - Scott ChamberlainScott Chamberlain is a lawyer and academic with expertise in issues affecting independent contractors. For the previous three years he was Executive Director of Workplace and Small Business Policy for the Housing Industry Association.

Philip LovelCEO, Victorian Transport Association and Secretary of the Australian Road Transport Industrial Organisation

Paul RyanIndustrial Relations Advisor, Victorian Transport Association

Mr Daniel MookheyChief of Staff, Transport Workers Union (TWU)

Mr Michael KaineNational Assistant Secretary, TWU

Mr John BergerAssistant Branch Secretary, TWU Victorian/Tasmanian Branch

Mr Laurie D'ApicePresident, Human Resources, LinfoxPresident, Australian Road Transport Industrial Organisation NSW Branch

Mr Tim SquiresPresident, Queensland Trucking Association (QTA)Director, Tothag Transport Group Queensland

Mr Ingilby DicksonVice President Logistics, Blue Scope SteelChairperson of the Retail Logistics Supply Chain (RLSC) Code of Conduct, Australian Logistics CouncilBoard Member, Australian Logistics Council

Professor Ann WilliamsonUniversity of New South Wales

Mr Ron KuczmarskiHuman Resources Manager, Scott’s Transport

Adam HatcherBarrister, HB Higgins Chambers

Safe Rate Advisory Group Terms of Reference

  • Advise Government in the preparation of a detailed policy paper setting out practical national strategies and detailed options for national legislation covering employees and independent contractors working in the transport industry that:
    • addresses the recommendations made by the Wright /Quinlan Review concerning the impact of payment rates and methods on safety in the transport industry;
    • considers the findings of other reviews and inquiries; and
    • takes into consideration the potential impact on safety and well-being of drivers as well as the productivity, efficiency and employment levels within the transport industry.
  • In preparing the policy paper the Advisory Group will consider:
    • the findings of recent reviews into the impact of rates and payment methods and safety in the heavy vehicle industry, including the Wright/Quinlan Review;
    • effectiveness of current regulations at the state and federal level covering safety in the heavy vehicle industry, including whether there is scope for greater coordination across jurisdictions; and
    • recent policy and legislative developments in areas associated with safety and regulation in the heavy vehicle industry.
  • The policy paper will also outline the regulatory impact, supporting data and implementation and compliance strategies.