THE Coalition has today committed to abolishing the Road Safety Remuneration System (RSRS) if it is returned to Government at the next election, says Federal Member for Leichhardt Warren Entsch.
“We will take action to support truck owner-drivers across Australia who are being unfairly disadvantaged by the destructive Road Safety Remuneration System Payment Order which came into effect last week,” said Mr Entsch.
“It’s clear that the reasons Bill Shorten set up the RSRS were fundamentally flawed and only meant to benefit the Transport Workers Union.
“Evidence found in two reviews of the RSR System showed that there are serious concerns with the rationale for the system. We’re now taking action to fix the mess that Labor created while also bringing in additional measures to improve safety for all Aussie drivers.”
Mr Entsch said the Government also announced today that funds from the planned abolition of the RSRS would be redirected to the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR).
“The NHVR is the agency that can actually deliver real and tangible road safety outcomes in the trucking industry,” said Mr Entsch.
“The Commonwealth Government will work with States and Territories to decide how this funding can best be used to improve safety measures across the country.
“The NHVR looks after the Heavy Vehicle National Law, which regulates safety measures such as driver fatigue, speeding, and loading requirements. It also makes sure that supply chains share the responsibility of complying with Australian Standards.
“Our regulation, unlike Labor’s RSRS, has broad support from the industry.”
The Bill that the Coalition Government will introduce to Parliament, when it resumes on 18 April, aims to suspend the Road Safety Remuneration System Payment Order – giving the trucking industry certainty until the Government can abolish the RSRS after the next federal election.
“This way we give the Australian people the chance to have a say on this crucial reform to our trucking industry,” Mr Entsch said.
Figures show there has been a gradual decline in road deaths involving heavy vehicles – from 264 in 2008 to 192 in 2015.
“We are committed to making sure this trend continues, But, to do this, we must focus on safety measures that are backed up by solid evidence and which deliver real results for all Aussie drivers,” said Mr Entsch.
“The approach of Labor and the unions, on the other hand, is to threaten the livelihoods of local truck drivers who just want to be able to run their own business,” he said.