List of Recommendations

Recommendation 1

The committee recommends that the government establishes or empowers an independent body that will, in consultation with industry, set universal and binding standards (including binding standards with respect to pay) which:
ensure the safe performance of work and eliminate unsafe economic and contracting practices; and
apply to all road transport supply chain participants, including transport operators, online/on demand operations, and workers (regardless of their employment or work status), and throughout supply chains.
The independent body shall also act as a dispute resolution body providing all road transport industry participants access to comprehensive binding dispute resolution capable of addressing all issues associated with, and general powers to resolve, disputes between some or all supply chain participants.

Recommendation 2

The committee recommends that the proposed initial priorities of the independent body should include to:
ensure that all workers, whether owner drivers or employee drivers, are paid for all work time, including driving and non-driving time, and that any costs or efficiency dividends associated with this change are allocated fairly throughout the supply chain;
institute a system of demurrage rates to help drivers and operators recoup costs for waiting and loading times, and that any costs or efficiency dividends associated with this change are fairly distributed through the supply chain; and
establish binding industry payment terms ensuring that all road transport workers and operators are paid in full upon-delivery.

Recommendation 3

The committee notes that any effective standard-setting body must be underpinned by robust and adequately resourced enforcement mechanisms. The committee recommends that the government establishes an effective enforcement framework to ensure compliance with standards (including those established by the proposed independent standards-setting body) by:
providing industrial and road enforcement agencies with dedicated enforcement frameworks and resources;
providing the Fair Work Ombudsman with resources to conduct a review of independent contracting arrangements in the road transport industry in order to eliminate sham-contracting;
providing the capacity for registered industrial organisations, such as trade unions and employer organisations, to carry out inspections and enforcement through transport supply chains; and
compelling all road transport supply chain parties to disclose information about their contracting networks throughout their supply chain and provide such information to registered industrial agencies and enforcement bodies.

Recommendation 4

The committee acknowledges the various challenges facing the road transport industry arising from a failure to provide universal licensing and training credentials and to support pathways for young and underrepresented road transport workers. The committee recommends that the government works with state and territory governments (in consultation with relevant registered organisations of employers and workers) to:
introduce a standardised, universal and compulsory safety induction unit for the road transport sector;
introduce an industry skills passport for recording these and all other induction and training credentials;
expedite the Infrastructure and Transport Ministers’ Meeting consideration of the Austroads review of the Heavy Vehicle Driver Competency Framework and licensing arrangements and implements the results as a priority;
develop a national apprenticeship scheme for the road transport industry;
work with Safe Work Australia and in consultation with industry representatives, to develop safe strategies for enabling 16 to 18 year old’s to train on forklifts; and
implement incentive program for businesses that attract young trainees, women and people from disadvantaged backgrounds into the industry.

Recommendation 5

The committee acknowledges the importance of ensuring that robust investigatory, reporting and data collection systems are established in the road transport sector. The committee recommends that the government:
expands the powers of the Australian Transport Safety Bureau to carry out independent, no-blame safety investigations of road crashes involving commercial heavy vehicles;
ensures all commercial vehicle crashes are recognised, treated and investigated as workplace accidents; and
improves data collection on the incidence and causation of work injuries and illness for both employees and owner drivers across jurisdictions.

Recommendation 6

The committee recognises the importance that road infrastructure and driver facilities have in delivering a safe, sustainable and productive road transport sector. The committee recommends that the government:
develops a set of national guidelines for town planners regarding road envelopes and other factors required to facilitate efficient and safe road-based logistics support in metropolitan areas;
identifies priority roads for dedicated and targeted road funding partnerships with relevant jurisdictions to improve the star rating performance of road infrastructure for all road users;
adopts national guidelines for the design and placement of heavy vehicle rest areas for major highways and significant freight routes;
work with all states and territories to mandate heavy vehicle only rest areas;
supports a public education campaign that demonstrates why heavy vehicle drivers must have access to designated rest areas;
increase the allowable vehicle and combination dimensions for heavy vehicles to allow for additional driver amenities;
establishes a national fund to assess, maintain and upgrade freight road in rural and regional areas, to meet the minimum frequency and quality of heavy vehicle rest areas contained in the national guidelines and to support the rolling out of low-cost safety infrastructure such as rumble strips, green reflectors, wider medians and improved road shoulders; and
establishes an independent national regulator to set commercial vehicle charges including toll road and port charges.

Recommendation 7

The committee recognises the role which technologies can have in supporting broader industry safety initiatives. The committee recommends that the government:
funds an education and awareness campaign around the benefits to small operators of the use of telematics devices, both in safety and efficiency;
ensures that all such telematics and other technologies meet strict guidelines designed to protect drivers’ privacy;
ensures that legislative and regulatory systems are reviewed to prepare for the emergence of automation and ensure that the risks and challenges which it may present to workers are effectively mitigated; and
through the proposed independent standards-setting body provide cost-recovery rate allowances for the take-up of telematics and other safety critical technologies.

Recommendation 8

The committee recommends that the government:
reviews the Reserve Bank of Australia’s Banknote Distribution Agreement (BDA) and the operation of the wholesale cash system and the relationship between the Reserve Bank of Australia, the BDA and approved cash centres; and
in consultation with industry participants, investigates the creation of national operating standards, accreditation and licensing scheme for the cash-in-transit industry.

Recommendation 9

The committee recommends that the government:
develops an industry wide market-based ratings system to incentivise best-practice in the industry;
ensures all current and future government contracts with a road transport component are only awarded to road transport operators with the highest standards of industrial and road safety compliance throughout their operations and supply chain;
develops a plan and sustainable funding mechanism for establishing managed roadside livestock effluent disposal sites on key livestock freight routes in Australia;
amends national laws to incorporate an appropriate fit for purpose national framework for managing fatigue; and
appoint a dedicated Minister for Transport.

Recommendation 10

The committee recommends the establishment of a Transport Advisory Group or commission that:
consists of members from the transport industry and unions;
functions as a consultative and advisory body for ministers responsible for the infrastructure, transport and road freight portfolios; and
meets regularly to facilitate ongoing dialogue and provide updates on matters of importance to the road transport sector.

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