Malcolm Turnbull is set to scrap the Labor’s Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal next week, when parliament resumes. According to recent findings, a ruling by the body is capable of increasing costs charged by Australian and Sydney furniture removalists that operate interstate, as well as exposing customers to fines amounting up to $10,000 for underpayment.
The government revealed its plans to introduce legislation that would abolish the tribunal, as well as separating legislation that freeze pay rates. This move comes after two senators, independent Jacqui Lambie and Queensland Glenn Lazarus stated their approval of removing the regulator, which was established by Julia Gillard back in 2012.
Moves to dismantle the tribunal gathered steam after its order that forced self-employed truck drivers to lift their prices, causing people everywhere to fear that at least 35,000 small business owners would be unable to cope and get priced out of the market.
The Australian Furniture Removers Association confirmed the fact that the order from the tribunal captured interstate removalists and warned them that it could expose people to penalties if the higher rates went unpaid.
Executive Director Joe Lupino of AFRA said that he received legal advice regarding the new pay scheme, and was warned that it would have an impact on the 8,350 Australian and Sydney furniture removalists in operation, a good deal of which were family-run businesses.
Lupino says that the AFRA believes that the tribunal should be scrapped as soon as possible, because they captured owner-drivers that operate interstate. As per the tribunal’s order, trips exceeding 200km would result in the operator getting detained. He adds that the Fair Work Ombudsman was not able to answer his inquiries as to how the order would operate or how it would be beneficial.
Under the legislation passed by the Labor party in 2012, an individual breach would result in a fine of $10,800, whilst a corporation would have to pay $54,000.
The irony being, according to the Transport Workers Union, the government was one of the biggest clients for Australian and Sydney furniture removalists, due to their relocation of defence personnel.
A High Court challenge against the RSRT was formally lodged yesterday on behalf of Independent Contractors Australia, who have been looking for support in abolishing the new pay system. According to those that lodged the report, the challenge was set on the basis that the tribunal was unconstitutional.