The TWU welcomes Minister for Workplace Relations Tony Burke’s commitment to enforceable standards in Transport.

September 2, 2022

This Wednesday was a celebrated day for transport workers. At a roundtable convened by the Minister for Workplace Relations, Tony Burke, Woolworths, Coles, Uber, DoorDash, major transport operators, industry associations and the TWU backed a shared set of principles calling for reform to set enforceable standards across the industry.

Prior to the Jobs and Skills Summit, a roundtable called for urgent action to ensure a safe, sustainable, viable, and fair road transport industry for all supply chain participants, including independent contractors, and non-employee transport workers in the gig economy. 

The principle document outlines 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 & 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.

The broad transport coalition has united to address industry pressures caused by the Australian legal framework falling behind changes in the industry, including the rise of the on-demand economy and new types of work arrangements.

Since the former Government abolished a road safety watchdog, over 1,100 people have been killed in truck crashes, including 263 truck drivers. A further 11 food delivery riders have been killed at work since 2017.   

Now transport workers have a new Federal Government who are showing a commitment to reform across the industry and have taken the transport roundtable consensus and developed it into a proposal to empower the Fair Work Commission to set enforceable standards. If passed into law, this will save businesses, it will save lives, and it will change lives. This is a proud moment for TWU members who have campaigned consistently for years to create a system that can support transport businesses and workers to thrive.