The Coalition’s Policy To Protect Jobs and Growth in the Trucking Industry

KEY COMMITMENTS

The Coalition will support jobs and growth in the trucking industry.

Labor’s Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal cost jobs in the trucking industry and was deliberately designed to put owner-drivers out of business.

Around 35,000 jobs in the trucking industry are under threat from Labor.

Bill Shorten set up the Road Safety Remuneration System solely to advantage the Transport Workers Union. He has now pledged to bring it back.

The Transport Workers Union claims that if you pay someone more money they will drive more safely. This is not based on evidence or common sense. The Road Safety Remuneration System was based on this flawed claim. It directly threatened the livelihoods of tens of thousands of owner-drivers, simply because they choose to run their own business. There is no evidence that owner-drivers are less safe than employee drivers.

A recent review of the Road Safety Remuneration System by PwC noted that:

“…based on the performance of the System to date, including the outcomes and considerable overlap of the Road Transport Order with other regulatory frameworks, as well as the likely impact of the Payments Order, it is PwC’s view that the System in its current form should be reformed…we consider that the abolition of the System would result in significant net benefit to the economy and community at large.”

The Coalition listened to owner-drivers and abolished the Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal. We will stand up for enterprising small businesses that take a risk and invest in themselves. We will:

  • never re-establish the Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal or anything like it
  • never introduce discriminatory mandatory payment rates that force owner-drivers out of business
  • provide a $4 million boost in funding to the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator, and engage in genuine consultation with industry about how this money can be best used to deliver real, tangible improvements in road safety
  • deliver significant improvements to road safety infrastructure

These measures are in addition to the actions the Coalition has already taken to protect small businesses in the trucking industry:

  • the Coalition abolished the Road Safety Remuneration System, including the economically devastating Payments Order
  • an inquiry into the impact the Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal’s recent Payments Order on small business owner truck drivers and its ongoing effects

OUR PLAN TO PROTECT JOBS AND GROWTH IN THE TRUCKING INDUSTRY

The Coalition will drive jobs and growth.

We will protect the tens of thousands of small owner-driver businesses that carry Australia.

We will not make decisions that cost jobs, harm our economy, and destroy small businesses.

Labor’s Road Safety Remuneration System threatened to devastate jobs in the trucking industry and put owner-drivers out of business. We saw this occur in April 2016, before the Coalition took urgent action to abolish the System and its economically disastrous Payments Order.

Around 35,000 jobs in the trucking industry are under threat from Labor.

There was nothing safe and nothing fair about Bill Shorten’s Road Safety Remuneration System.

The Road Safety Remuneration System was established as a result of a deal done between Labor and the Transport Workers Union to give the union control of the trucking industry and force owner-drivers out of the market.

A former Transport Workers Union employee who helped deliver the political campaign for the establishment of the Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal confirmed it was all about supporting the Transport Workers Union:

‘‘Fundamentally the union doesn’t care about owner-drivers, it cares about its income and the political power it can achieve. The practical effect of the RSRT [Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal] is to push owner-drivers out of the market…Only stronger police powers could rein in the cowboys who are the problem. By that I mean the clients who will never place a driver’s safety above their own immediate needs.

The unique success of the TWU’s achievement in the establishment of the RSRT was that it framed a marginal issue – the link between rates of pay and safety – as the central issue and then drove legislative change through its political mates.”

Labor has learned nothing from the disastrous RSRT experience. Bill Shorten and the TWU bosses have already promised to bring it back if Labor is elected.

Australia relies on small business operators such as the owner-drivers who are the lifeblood of our transportation industry and the backbone of our economy.

The Coalition will:

  • never re-establish the Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal or anything like it
  • never introduce discriminatory mandatory payment rates that force owner-drivers out of business
  • provide a $4 million boost in funding to the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator, with the additional funding to support targeted safety measures, including monitoring of heavy vehicles with a national network of cameras. We will engage in genuine consultation with the industry about how this money can be best used to deliver real, tangible improvements in road safety
  • We are also investing in significant improvements to road safety infrastructure through our Heavy Vehicle Safety and Productivity, Roads to Recovery, Black Spot and Bridge Renewal programmes.

We are providing $255 million for the Heavy Vehicle Safety and Productivity Programme, from 2014-15 to 2019-20, to support project critical to the heavy vehicle industry such as rest stops, parking bays, and road capacity upgrades to further improve the efficiency of heavy vehicle operations across Australia. Our commitment also stands at $40 million per year past 2019-20.

Under the Roads to Recovery Programme, $3.6 billion has been committed between 2014-15 and 2019-20 to support councils in upgrading and maintaining local roads. We have also committed to providing an additional $50 million per year from 2019-20, increasing the overall annual commitment to $400 million.

Through the Black Spot Programme, we will continue our investment of $560 million between 2014-15 and 2018-19 into safety upgrades such as roundabouts, crash barriers and street lights at dangerous locations and road sites where crashes are occurring. We will also maintain funding at $60 million per year from 2019–20.

Our $360 million Bridges Renewal Programme has delivered upgrades to more than 240 bridges across Australia, with many critical in providing heavy vehicle access to local communities. This programme will also continue past 2019–20 with an investment of $60 million per year.

These measures are in addition to the actions the Coalition has already taken to protect small businesses in the trucking industry.

The Coalition urgently abolished the Road Safety Remuneration System, including the economically devastating Payments Order.

We also established an inquiry by the Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman into the impact that the RSRT’s Payments Order had and continues to have on small business owner truck drivers.

The inquiry will ensure that owner-drivers who may be subject to unfair practices from lenders, financiers and others who extend credit to them have an opportunity to get help from the government agency that is best able to assist them and advocate for them.

Labor’s approach to road safety is to put Transport Workers Union bosses first. Bill Shorten’s policy is to deliberately jeopardise the livelihoods of mum and dad truck drivers who want to get on with running their businesses.

The Coalition’s commitment will protect jobs and growth in Australia’s trucking industry.

THE CHOICE

The Coalition will drive jobs and growth in our economy.

We are focused on delivering a stronger economy with more jobs, higher real wages, more opportunities, and a greater standard of living for our children.

Labor’s approach to road safety is to jeopardise the livelihoods of mum and dad truck drivers who want to get on with running their businesses.

Around 35,000 jobs in the trucking industry are under threat from Labor.

Labor’s Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal will cost jobs in the trucking industry and will put owner-drivers out of business – to benefit the Transport Workers Union.

Labor cannot be trusted with jobs, taxes and the budget.

There was nothing safe and nothing fair about the Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal.

The Coalition will never reinstate a system that forces mum and dad small business owner drivers out of the market under the guise of safety.

COSTS

The Coalition will invest $4 million to protect jobs and growth in the trucking industry.

DOWNLOAD THE POLICY HERE

The Coalition’s Policy To Protect Jobs and Growth in the Trucking Industry

The Coalition listened to owner-drivers and abolished the Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal. We will stand up for enterprising small businesses that take a risk and invest in themselves.