NatRoad calls out unfair treatment of small trucking businesses

Mum-and-dad truck operators are set to be unfairly singled out in a review by the Victorian Government, according to the National Road Transport Association (NatRoad).

“This Victorian review has all the hallmarks of union/backed industrial changes that are about removing small trucking businesses in the transport sector,” said NatRoad CEO, Warren Clark.

“It is unlikely this review is about safety as these are union-backed industrial changes that are about removing small independent mum-and-dad trucking businesses from the market.

“Unions favour an employee-and-employer model in the market, not independent small businesses that can set their own rates like small trucking businesses,” he added. “The unions have active industrial campaigns to bring about these unfair changes in New South Wales and now in Victoria. Road transport doesn’t stop at State borders – so why do we continue to create red tape and complex industrial awards for a national industry?

“Adequate Commonwealth protections for small operators and contract carriers are in place through the Fair Work Act and the Independent Contractors Act. The Federal Parliament is also actively pursuing greater 30-day payment protections for small businesses which will benefit mum-and-dad trucking operations.

The review will consider laws regulating owner drivers and forestry contractors “to ensure a stronger and fairer system which puts safety first”, according to the Victorian Government’s official release. It continued, “Economic pressures on the industry through the supply chain have forced some drivers into unsafe practices. This has been further exacerbated by the Turnbull Government’s decision to dump the Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal, leaving drivers without the protection they need.

“The review will aim to update the Owner Drivers and Forestry Contractors Act to improve the conditions of drivers and forestry contractors and ensure they're not being exploited.”

Clark said the National Road Transport Association will make a submission to the Victorian Government’s Review.

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