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Ai Group supports abolition of Road Safety Remuneration Act and Tribunal

"Ai Group welcomes today's release of the reports from two major inquiries into the Road Safety Remuneration Act 2012 and Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal, both of which are highly critical of the current system. Ai Group has consistently argued for the abolition of the Act and Tribunal on the basis that the notion that paying truck drivers more or differently will lead to fewer road accidents is flawed," Ai Group Chief Executive Innes Willox said today.

"The RSR Act and Tribunal are imposing anti-competitive arrangements on industry and are distracting Government and industry attention and resources away from the measures which are widely recognised as improving road safety. The arrangements also threaten jobs and work for contractor drivers, as well as harm to regional and rural areas which are heavily reliant on road transport.

"In contrast to the flawed RSR System, Ai Group strongly supports the Heavy Vehicle National Law and the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator which have the support of industry as well as Federal, State and Territory Governments.

"In December last year, the RSR Tribunal made a Road Safety Remuneration Order setting minimum rates for contractor drivers which is set to come into operation on Monday, 4 April 2016.

"A few weeks ago Ai Group made an application to the RSR Tribunal to delay the commencement date for the Order until 1 January next year and to phase-in the minimum rates over three years. The application was heard by the Tribunal on Easter Saturday, Easter Sunday and Easter Monday. During the proceedings, Ai Group reached a compromise position with the Transport Workers Union to delay the operation of the minimum wage rates until 1 October 2016 and to phase-in the new rates over the period up to 1 October 2017. The compromise position has been proposed to the Tribunal and the decision is awaited.

"Ai Group looks forward to participating in the Government's consultation process about the future of the RSR Act and Tribunal. We will argue that the Act and Tribunal should be abolished without delay, with attention re-focussed on measures that are widely recognised as improving safety in the road transport industry such as improved roads, improved compliance and use of technology," Mr Willox said.

Media Enquiries: Tony Melville - 0419 190 347