Wednesday, 11 September 2019
Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport References Committee; Reference
At the request of Senator Sterle, I move:
That the following matter be referred to the Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport References Committee for inquiry and report by April 2020:
The importance of a viable, safe, sustainable and efficient road transport industry, with particular reference to:
a. the importance of an enforceable minimum award rate and sustainable standards and conditions for all stakeholders in the road transport industry;
b. the development and maintenance of road transport infrastructure to ensure a safe and efficient road transport industry;
c. the regulatory impact, including the appropriateness, relevance and adequacy of the legislative framework, on all stakeholders in the road transport industry;
d. the training and career pathways to support, develop and sustain the road transport industry;
e. the social and economic impact of road-related injury, trauma and death;
f. efficient cost-recovery measures for industry stakeholders, including subcontractors;
g. the impact of new technologies and advancements in freight distribution, vehicle design, road safety and alternative fuels;
h. the importance of establishing a formal consultative relationship between the road transport industry and all levels of government in Australia; and
i. other related matters.
The Liberal-National government is supporting the transport industry with record investment in road infrastructure. The government is also working through the Transport and Infrastructure Council of COAG on developing a new system for heavy-vehicle charging in Australia. The government is also working with state and territory governments and the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator to make it easier for businesses to deliver freight in a safe manner and for workers in the industry to get home safely. This work is complemented by the new Office of Road Safety and the Joint Select Committee on Road Safety as well.
One Nation will be supporting this motion because—hearing from the trucking companies—those owner-drivers say that this needs to be looked at. Big companies are actually taking over and controlling the pricing, and if we don't do something about it we will lose the owner-drivers, who control 85 per cent of the market. It will have an impact on rural and regional Australia, so I think it's important to get the truth out there to make sure that big multinational companies are not destroying owner-drivers. We therefore support this motion.