Release type: Joint Media Release

Date:

Coalition Government will abolish Road Safety Remuneration System if re-elected

Ministers:

Senator the Hon Michaelia Cash
Minister for Employment
Minister for Women
Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Public Service
Senator for Western Australia
The Hon Darren Chester MP
Minister for Infrastructure and Transport

The Coalition has today committed to abolishing the Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal (RSRT) if it is returned to Government at the next election.

The Coalition Government will take action to support truck owner-drivers across Australia who are unfairly disadvantaged by the destructive Road Safety Remuneration System Payment Order, which came into effect on 7 April 2016.

It is clear that the reasons Bill Shorten set up the Road Safety Remuneration System (RSRS) were fundamentally flawed and designed only to advantage the Transport Workers Union.

The claim by the union that if you pay someone more money they will drive more slowly and more safely is simply not based on credible evidence or common sense.

The RSR System is predicated on this flawed premise and now tens of thousands of owner-drivers across Australia risk being driven out of business.

There is no evidence that the Road Safety Remuneration System has achieved any safety outcomes in its four years of operation nor will it achieve such outcomes going forward.

The Government has acted on the evidence found in two reviews of the RSR System, which found that the rationale for the system is flawed.

We are now taking action to fix the mess that Labor created while also implementing additional measures to improve safety outcomes for all road users across the country.

The National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) is the body that can actually deliver real and tangible road safety outcomes in the trucking industry.

Today the Government is also announcing that funds from the RSRS will be redirected to the NHVR as a result of the abolition of this system.

The Commonwealth Government will be consulting with State and Territories to determine how best this funding can be used to re-prioritise and strengthen safety measures that will deliver real results.

The NHVR administers the Heavy Vehicle National Law, responsible for regulating a range of safety-related measures including driver fatigue, speeding, loading requirements and for ensuring that supply chains share equal responsibility for ensuring standards are complied with.

This regulation, unlike the RSRS, has broad support from the industry.

The Bill the Government will be taking to parliament when it resumes on 18 April, if passed, will suspend the operation of the Order and provide the trucking industry with certainty, until such time as we take legislation to a new parliament to abolish the RSRS.

The Australian people will thus have a chance to provide us with a mandate for this crucial reform.

There has been a gradual decline in deaths from crashes involving heavy vehicle trucks, from 239 in 2008 to 192 in 2015.

We are committed to continuing in this positive direction.

However to do this we must focus on safety measures that are backed up by solid evidence and which deliver tangible results for all road users.

Unlike the Coalition, Labor and the unions approach to road safety is to jeopardise the livelihoods of mum and dad truck drivers who just want to be able to run their own businesses.