The abolition of the Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal last night was a victory for good policy on safety in Australian supply chains, Michael Kilgariff, Managing Director of the Australian Logistics Council said today.
“The Senate vote vindicates ALC’s long held position that the Tribunal and its Orders would inevitably lead to regulatory overlap, confusion, inefficiencies and costs,” he said.
“From the time the so-called ‘safe-rates’ tribunal was proposed in 2010, ALC has highlighted that it is a flawed approach to dealing with heavy vehicle safety.
“In the ALC response to the Safe Rates Directions Paper in February 2011, ALC stated:
ALC believes that the establishment of a tribunal, as proposed in the Directions Paper, is a step against the positive momentum currently being experienced. Rather than improve safety outcomes, ALC believes the introduction of a new layer of regulation and another entity will generate duplication, confusion and cost, resulting in reduced viability of smaller operators and increased costs to consumers without achieving a commensurate improvement in safety outcomes.
“The ALC view has always been that the most effective way to drive safety in the heavy vehicle industry is through achieving greater compliance and enforcement of Chain of Responsibility in the Heavy Vehicle National Law.
“These views were outlined in the recent ALC publication Why the Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal Should Be Abolished.
“There are a number of proposed changes to Chain of Responsibility laws in 2016. This includes the introduction of a ‘primary duty of care’ into the current Chain of Responsibility that will be similar in nature to those contained in workplace health and safety legislation.
“Government and industry need to complement this stronger regulatory approach by progressing a number of additional key safety measures, including:
- The mandatory use of technology in all heavy vehicles to record safety measures such as fatigue, speeding, location, dangerous driving etc.
- Operator accreditation to ensure industry participants are competent to perform required tasks
- A greater focus on heavy vehicle maintenance as part of chain of responsibility
- Better alignment with work health safety laws.
“This policy work is often difficult, arduous and doesn’t get an easy headline in the major papers.
“ALC calls on those organisations that have invested time and resources in the Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal to put their weight behind the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator to develop and implement safety measures that are workable, effective and which drive heavy vehicle safety outcomes across Australia,” he said.
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