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22    Transport—Trucking Industry—Safety

Senator Williams, also on behalf of Senator Sterle, pursuant to notice of motion not objected to as a formal motion, moved general business notice of motion no. 988—That the Senate—

    (a)   notes that:

                  (i)   the trucking industry consists of approximately 49 000 businesses of which 25 000 are owner-drivers,

                 (ii)   road freight transport delivers more than 2 billion tonnes of goods per year, which is 71 per cent of Australia’s domestic freight,

                (iii)   the industry has had a poor but improving safety record, particularly considering the growth in the number of trucks on the road, and in the 12 months to the end of September 2015 there were 102 deaths in crashes involving articulated trucks and 82 deaths in crashes involving rigid trucks,

                (iv)   some large companies have been unfairly asking trucking operators to accept extended payment terms of up to 120 days, which is not in the spirit of a harmonious business relationship,

                 (v)   the resultant impact on a trucking operator’s cash flow may affect their ability to meet their own financial commitments, such as for wages, lease payments and maintenance of their vehicles, and

                (vi)   any reduction in maintenance and repair schedules forced on operators by extended payment terms could lead to more serious accidents and fatalities; and

    (b)   calls on businesses to adopt payment terms not exceeding 30 days, consistent with the requirements of the Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal, and in line with the Australian Government policy of making payments no later than 30 days for many contracts.

Question put and passed.