Release type: Joint Media Release


Parliament to consider abolition of RSRT


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 Government will introduce legislation to abolish the deeply flawed Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal (RSRT) when Parliament resumes next week.

Two bills will be introduced into the House to provide certainty and protect the livelihoods of tens of thousands of small business owner-drivers across Australia.

The Government has a special temporary hotline through the Department of Social Services to provide targeted financial advice for owner drivers who have been negatively affected by the payment order.

Owner drivers can reach the Financial Counselling Helpline by calling 1800 007 007.

Truck drivers are the life blood of Australian business with the road freight transport industry employing around 200,000 people.

Any threat to the industry will have large flow-on effects on consumers.

Tens of thousands of owner truck drivers, many of whom have taken out mortgages to buy their trucks, face being driven out of business by the RSRT.

As announced on Sunday 10 April, the Government will introduce legislation to ensure the Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal’s Payment Order is suspended until 1 January 2017.

An additional bill will first be presented to the Parliament seeking to abolish the Road Safety Remuneration System altogether.

Two independent studies have recommended that the RSRT be dismantled, showing there is no conclusive proof between rates of remuneration and safety outcomes.  Economic modelling showing that it will cost the economy $2.3 billion in net present value.

The money saved by abolishing the RSRT will be redirected to the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator, to work with the States and Territories to implement practical safety measures.

It is time for Labor and the crossbenchers to step up and act in the interests of the tens of thousands of owner-drivers across Australia.

When Parliament resumes we expect all parliamentarians to act in the national interest.