House debates

Thursday, 30 October 2014

Statements by Members

Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal

1:41 pm

Photo of Joanne RyanJoanne Ryan (Lalor, Australian Labor Party) Share this | | Hansard source

I am on my feet today because the review called by this government into the Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal was completed in April and is yet to be released. Despite this, the member for Mayo has said, 'We have always been very uncomfortable with this regulator.' He went on, 'I assure you that we've got more to say in respect of the RSRT.' Well, I have more to say in respect of this regulator. Abolishing this important tribunal would be a retrograde step for all road users. This tribunal was established in 2012 because, on average, 330 people are killed and 5,300 people are injured in accidents involving trucks every year. The member for Mayo might like to note that these tragedies on our roads are what make me uncomfortable. The people of Lalor know first hand what this means—11 fatalities and at least 10 injuries in recent years involving trucks.

This tribunal was established because the relationship between hours behind the wheel and fatigue is indisputable, and rates of pay for truck drivers correlate directly to the hours they work to make ends meet, to earn a decent living. We cannot afford an industry that puts the dollar before safety and this tribunal works to ensure that that is not the case.

As a mother with three sons driving on Lalor roads every day, one of them driving a truck, I implore this government to maintain the road safety tribunal.