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Future Freight Networks : Yearbook 2011
62 ALC Response to Safe Rates Safe Roads Directions Paper ALC has expressed concern about the proposal by the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations Safe Rates Safe Roads Directions Paper to institute yet another layer of regulation upon the industry. ALC called for a clearer statement on why further statutory intervention is required and how it will introduce benefits not already likely to be achieved by other national and comprehensive laws dealing with safety issues. ALC vehemently opposes the imposition of statutory provisions that duplicate other obligations imposed by law and that do not tangibly add to industry participant safety. The T&L industry is already subjected to an extremely complex regulatory environment under federal, state/territory and local governments. For this reason the industry supported a National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (including national Chain of Responsibility legislation), and the National Work Health & Safety (WHS) Act, which will impose a duty on transport and logistics participants to eliminate or minimise, so far as is reasonably practicable, health and safety risks. ALC believes there is no case for an entirely new layer of regulation in the name of safety, in circumstances where other regulatory and non-regulatory mechanisms have been introduced to deal with safety and which appear to be working. As acknowledged by the Directions Paper, a number of safety risks are beyond the scope of industry, such as road conditions and the behaviour of other road users. However, for those risks that do fall within the scope of industry control, numerous initiatives have been identified and introduced to ensure safety is a key consideration in decision-making, in addition to commercial and industrial objectives. For example, ALC has worked closely with its members to develop the National Logistics Safety Code and the Safe Payments Systems Statement. ALC is committed to further developing the Code with industry and the appropriate regulating bodies, to increase its scope and broaden its application. Codes that focus on measurement and outcomes enable individual organisations to operate under their own business model, while adopting a ‘reasonable steps’ approach to safety. Results of these initiatives and of significant investment in roads and new vehicles and technology, have been significant and should not be underestimated. Equally as important is that they have been broadly adopted and accepted as ‘a part of doing business’. ALC has recommended that no new tribunal is needed, nor should an existing tribunal have powers conferred on it, to determine matters relating to owner drivers (however defined). A Regulatory Impact Statement and Cost-Benefit Analysis must be provided: to articulate the cost to industry involved in implementing the new scheme; explain why current statutory schemes are insufficient to protect worker safety; and the additional safety outcomes the proposed new mechanisms are expected to achieve, over and above the safety improvements recognised in the paper. ALC Advocacy and Policy Submissions