Independent Member for Indi, Cathy McGowan AO, has helped secure a win for owner-drivers in Indi calling for the Government to scrap the Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal (RSRT).
In the Parliament, Ms McGowan supported the Government Road Safety Remuneration Repeal Bill 2016, which was passed in the record time in the House and the Senate today. Ms McGowan said there was strong community support for getting rid of the RSRT in the wake of the controversial Contractor Driver Minimum Payments RSRT Order.
“I am committed to putting Indi first when voting on important legislation, and being a strong advocate for small business,” Ms McGowan said. “I am proud to represent the many small transport businesses in Parliament. This has been a positive outcome they were calling for.”
“Indi relies heavily on transport, manufacturing, primary production and the productivity of small businesses. Laws must not disadvantage small business and impact the regional economy.”
Speaking twice on this issue in Parliament yesterday, Ms McGowan acknowledged the contribution of owner drivers to Indi, and quoted from three of the many letters she received on this issue.
Australian Livestock and Rural Transporters Association president Kevin Keenan, a truck driver for more than 35 years, said forcing farmers to pay for a full load would harm owner drivers. Ken Beggs from Wangaratta described the RSRT as being unfair to a minor sector of the trucking industry. Transport Women Australia chair Pam McMillan called on the Government to scrap the RSRT because the intent of the original concept has been lost and the industry disadvantaged.
Ms McGowan also welcomed the Government decision allocating more resources to the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator to investigate improvements in the road transport industry.
“Improving road safety is a serious issue. I look forward to seeing the detail on how the NHVR will get better safety outcomes in the industry. I encourage owner-drivers in Indi to give their feedback on the best way forward to improve the safety for truck drivers,” Ms McGowan said.