Prime Minister on the side of owner drivers

ON SIDE: Owner drivers, including Jack Kearney from Barooga, met with Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull on Sunday in Sydney. Mr Turnbull announced plans to abolish the road safety remuneration tribunal after the election.
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Owner-drivers say they’re finally being listened to after securing federal government backing to abolish the road safety remuneration tribunal.

Holbrook owner-driver Gordon Mackinlay met with Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Employment MinisterMichaelia Cash in Sydneyon Sunday.

He was joined by Barooga owner-operators Glen and Pauline Kearneyand their sons, Jack and Matt.

Mr Mackinlay said Senator Cash reiterated her support for owner-drivers after announcing on Monday legislation will be introduced to Parliament on April 18 to delay the order until January 2017.

“We hadfive trucks there and the owner-divers associated and we were all given time to talk with Malcolm and give our personal position,” he said.

“We believewe’ve got the numbers to get a stay put on until January 1st.

“Unfortunatelyat the moment, the federal government is pretty jammed up in the Senate and that’s frustrating, but we’re a long way ahead of not having them in our corner.”

At a press conference with the owner-drivers on Sunday, Mr Turnbull announcedplans to abolish the tribunal which enacted the safe rates order.

“We will, if we are re-elected, abolish the RSRT,” Mr Turnbullsaid.

“It is not a tribunal that does anything effective to do with safety, it undermines owner-operators, it undermines small business, it undermines family businesses.”

The RSRO, which sets a minimum pay rate for owner-drivers, came into effect on Thursday after the Federal Court of Australia threw out a stay on the order.

Mr Mackinlay said for the first time in 26years, he looked to be without business.

“I’m out of work as of now, I’m hoping to pick up locally in Melbourne butas far as interstate loads go, I’m doing my last delivery,” he said.

Mr Mackinlay said a convoy was being planned to take place on Sunday to get as many sitting members on side as possible preceding the legislation’s hearing.

“The convoy will head to Canberra and we’ll get as close to the parliamentary circle as we’re allowed,” he said.

“Then the entire convoy group will have the attention of the politicians andwe will be met and addressed by several members.

“The thing we need to make people aware of, is our lobby group are not against road safety, we are not against a pay rise, but we are all drive trucks and we face the same risk.

“Every single part ofthe transport industry needs to have a say and to figure a way to operatesafely–and it should apply to everyone.”

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.