Coulton welcomes moves to protect owner-drivers and consumers
Federal Member for Parkes, Mark Coulton has welcomed this week’s announcement by Minister for Employment, Senator the Hon Michaelia Cash that the Coalition Government will be introducing legislation into the House of Representatives in the week commencing 18 April 2016 to ensure that orders setting mandatory remuneration rates for truck drivers cannot commence before 1 January 2017.
Mr Coulton was relieved to hear that late on Friday last week, the Federal Court sitting in Brisbane granted a stay of the Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal’s Payments Order that were due to commence on Monday, 4 April 2016.
“The Tribunal’s Payments Order is purely and simply detrimental to all owner-drivers right across my electorate,” Mr Coulton said.
“Once news of the order was out, my offices have received calls from owner-drivers who all of a sudden had their entire livelihoods under threat.
“I am so pleased that Minister Cash listened to my concerns as well as my colleagues and has taken every action possible at our end to help to make sure that this Order has been temporarily delayed pending the outcome of an urgent appeal brought by industry.”
Minister Cash said this legislation, if passed by the Senate, will provide certainty for the trucking industry while reform options for the Road Safety Remuneration system are considered by the Government.
“I also announce that given the urgency of this matter, consultations with key industry stakeholders for reform options for the system will commence this week,” Minister Cash said.
“This is a priority for the Government as owner-drivers are the lifeblood of the economy. Anything which threatens their viability will have significant implications across the country – this is not something we will tolerate.”
“If the payments order was to come into effect as planned it would be devastating for thousands of owner-drivers and consumers alike.”