THE National Farmers’Federation has welcomed the scrapping of the Road Safety and Remuneration Tribunal on Monday night.
Both houses of federal parliament fast-tracked passage oflegislation killing off the controversial RSRT,witha double-dissolution election looming over them.
Deputy Prime Minister and Agriculture and Water Resources Minister Barnaby Joyce talks to owner drivers who descended on Canberra Sunday.
Every politician’s job, from both houses, will be up for grabs at the election, likely to be set forJuly 2.
Yesterday, Prime MinisterMalcolmTurnbull said after the budget was delivered hewould ask the Governor General to dissolve both houses of parliament for adouble dissolution election onJuly 2.
The NFFwelcomed the latest and final development in an issue that had truck drivers mounting a convoy tothe capital on Sunday ahead of the critical vote.
The NFF backed scrapping the RSRT to avoid producers suffering excessive cost hikes from anRSRT order on owner-drivers, forcing set pay rates on them.
Owner drivers said they would be sent broke by the order.
NFF Workplace Relations and Legal Affairs general manager Sarah McKinnon said the RSRT repeal bill would help to deliver certainty to farmers and owner drivers around Australia and would take full effect from tomorrow.
“This is good news for farmers and rural businesses who can now get back to business without the fear of large fines or skyrocketing transport costs,” she said.
Ms McKinnon said the government’s role was to put in place policy settings that supported a thriving and competitive market, not to distort the market by fixing prices far beyond what the market can afford.
During debate in the House of Representatives on Monday, Liberal MP Christopher Pyne said the Repeal Bill was being introduced because the RSRT had demonstrated “no tangible safety outcomes for the road transport industry”.
He said two separate, comprehensive, evidence-based reviews had supported that view “in the strongest of terms”.
“Even Labor’s own regulatory analysis completed at the time the system was introduced acknowledged that there was insufficient evidence to demonstrate a clear link between road safety and remuneration,” he said.
“There is nothing fair or safe about the RSRT and that is why the Coalition government has listened to thousands of owner drivers across the country and put this very urgent bill before the House.”
Other groups also welcomed the RSRT’s removal including the Australian Industry Goup which said it should never have been established in the first place.
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