Transport groups united in call for enforceable industry standards


A coalition of major industry associations and transport operators are calling for a shared set of enforceable standards across the industry.

At a roundtable yesterday convened by the Minister for Workplace Relations Tony Burke ahead of this week’s Jobs and Skills Summit in Canberra, the industry heads signed up to a set of principles they hope will ensure a safe, sustainable, viable and fair road transport industry for all supply chain participants.

The document states that reform could include adequately resourcing an independent body administered by persons with industry expertise, or better empowering existing bodies, to:

  1. establish and maintain appropriate and enforceable standards in relation to both traditional transport operations and on-demand delivery and rideshare platform work;
  2. promote best practice supply and contract chain industry standards;
  3. effectively and efficiently resolve disputes;
  4. ensure transport workers are able to access and contribute to an effective collective voice;
  5. convene as necessary specialist advisory groups drawn from the industry to provide advice and recommendations; and
  6. provide appropriate enforcement to ensure standards and objectives are met.

Australian Road Transport Industrial Organisation (ARTIO) national secretary, Peter Anderson, said the outcome of this roundtable could not be clearer.

“Transport clients, employers, workers and even gig companies are all calling for the security of enforceable industry standardsm,” said Anderson.

“Although this group may not always see eye to eye, our unity today shows how critical it is for the federal government to act.

“Transport is an essential industry for Australia. Over the last two years, pandemic pressures, flooding and global unrest have demonstrated how important transport is and how volatile supply chains have become. It’s in the best interests of the entire community to have a system that can support a viable transport industry.”

Transport Workers’ Union national secretary Michael Kaine said this was a “powerful blueprint” for reform backed by every section of the industry.

“If adopted by the federal government, a standard-setting body would enable transport to emerge from an industry dominated by deadly economic pressures at every level of the supply chain, to a safe, secure and viable industry where all participants can thrive,” said Kaine.

“Australia’s leading supermarkets, global gig companies, major transport operators, employer associations and workers are aligned and we invite others across the industry to join us. ”

National industry convoys were held last month at Parliament House and in major cities across Australia in support of reform to set fair standards for a sustainable industry.

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