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Vic gov to hold owner-driver pay inquiry


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Owner/Driver  /  November 18, 2016

State government looks to RSRT in new inquiry into owner-drivers and forestry contractors

The Victorian government will review the laws regulating owner-drivers and forestry contractors, announcing an inquiry into the industry’s practices post the Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal (RSRT).

Stating that "economic pressures" have "forced some drivers into unsafe practices", the state-run review is seeking submissions by the end of January next year.

The inquiry comes after the "the Victorian Inquiry into Labour Hire Industry and Insecure Work recently heard evidence on a range of issues regarding rates of pay, certainty of working hours, and occupational health and safety for tip truck owner drivers," a government statement says, and will "look at the inquiry’s recommendations, including a code of practice for the tip truck industry and the threshold requirements on hirers to provide applicable rates and costs to owner drivers."

It will also "examine contracting requirements and dispute resolution mechanisms available to owner drivers, and seek to address any avoidance of rights and responsibilities under the ODFC Act and Regulations," the statement says.

The move by the Labor government in Victoria follows a decision by the Liberal federal government to abolish the RSRT installed by the previous Labor federal government.

The tribunal was officially removed in April, just weeks after it came into existence, and saw the Liberal party and NatRoad go head to head with the Transport Workers’ Union (TWU) and the Labor party in a war of words.

Both sides claimed they had owner-drivers’ best wishes in mind.

The topic is already the subject of an Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman (ASBFEO) Kate Carnell-led inquiry, backed by the then federal small business minister Kelly O’Dwyer.

To make a submission to the new inquiry, information on the terms of reference and correct address are available here.

It is open until January 31.

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Interesting topic! I am reminded of the procedure the U.S. Postal service has for accepting contractors (owner operators). The bidding contractor submits his rate per mile and an estimate of his costs(insurance, repair costs,fuel, truck pymt. Etc) so the postal service can determine if the bidder can make a reasonable enough profit to stay in business! This helps alleviate contractors quitting in the middle of a contract and requiring the p.s. rebidding  the contract.You bid the contract at the current price of fuel, and the only adjustment the  P.S. will  make is if your fuel or insurance costs go up.The contracts run for four years,and can continue for another four years if you are providing adequate service and are willing to work at your existing rate.If you feel you need more money,the contract will be rebid.Ksb does Australia have at present an established rate per mile,hour,ton etc for various truck related contracting operations? As you know America "deregulated in 79, Opinions vary, but many claim it was the worst thing that ever happened to the trucking industry! I agree,Canada told em to put it where the sun don't shine, and refused,and still refuse to work for nothing!

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