Safe Rates Fiasco


How did it all come to this. Libs sticking up for labor voting truck drivers, while labor are sticking up for big business.Every owner driver says that this law that labor brought in and are still pushing for is a bad piece of legislation.


It has been wrapped up under a banner of safety and looking after drivers.Pay them more and drivers wont have to work so hard is ridiculous and will do nothing to alter the road toll. Most of the accidents involving trucks are caused by car drivers doing stupid things and most of the trucks that are involved belong to Non owner drivers that this legislation doesn’t affect.


Safe rates legislation was intended at its start was all about the the big 2 Woolies and Coles demanding set delivery times and then penalising drivers if late.For example say a driver had a load from Sydney to the Brisbane distribution centre at  he his set a specific unload time within 30 mins.


That is leave Sydney at 12.00am be in Bris at 11.00pm +-30 mins. Miss that slot and you are put in a holding pattern. ,No excuses. Accidents, road closures floods etc, be there at your allocated time or get put into the pattern. Now for drivers with the major companies they were on a hourly rate and got paid for waiting anyway but subbie Owner drivers are paid to deliver the load ,so if they s miss the slot they have to wait …Depending on how urgent they want the goods on the truck you could be stuck there for anything up to 24 hrs. You can,t leave your truck in case you get called up and all this time is unpaid and the return load that you had lined up has gone to someone else because you are stuck in the line, If you can,t find a return load it becomes a expensive trip home.

So labor came up with safe rates and at first was a pretty good piece of legislation.Make Coles and Woolies pay for the truckies time waiting to be unloaded, and take into account road closures, floods etc. all pretty sensible stuff and supported by most people. I can guarantee you that the distribution centres would operate a lot more efficiently if they had to pay for waiting times.

What has come now is nothing like what was intended. Owner drivers AND ONLY OWNER DRIVERS have to charge so called safe rates determined by the RSRT. They have a neat calculator for you to work out how much you have to charge.


I had a little play around with it and If I charged what the calculator tells me to charge I would have gone broke in about a month. There is no allowance for back loads where you just want to cover your fuel expenses to get back to do another full load. Particularity important if you are hauling to north qld were there is a lot of freight going up but not much coming back. I could always rely on the aluminium smelter at Gladstone for a load home as they used Owner drivers all the time to take freight back to Brisbane. I have heard that they will no longer use Owner Drivers because of what they have to charge. Instead the will use toll or one of the other bigger companies that are not affected by safe rates.



And that is the major problem.

Single Owner- Drivers are the only ones affected by this . They have to charge what they are told and if they don,t they face a $52.000 fine.Bigger companies with employed drivers are not affected. They can charge what they want. So Billy Blogs wants someone to take a load from Brisbane to Sydney . He rings a owner driver that he has worked with before and says how much mate? same as last time? Nope says OD will now cost almost double than last time,Billy then rings large company asks how much and is nearly $1000 cheaper. Who do you think will get the job.It is blatantly unfair for owner drivers to be forced to charge exorbitant rates while others are under no such obligation. It will drive single owner operators out of business while increasing business for the others.

Why are only owner drivers being singled out. They have invested heavily in a truck.found work,built up relationships with clients and now they are being forced out of business. This has zero to do with safety and more to do with giving the big boys more work. Owner drivers look after there trucks and take more care of them then payed drivers. If there trucks aren’t working they get no pay while the other drivers just jump in another fleet truck.

As it stands now it looks like the RSRT will be abolished which in my opinion is a good thing. I hope if Labor win the next election that when they get to reintroducing the legislation it is in a vastly different form than what was established . Everyone is concerned about making our roads safer, ,especially the drivers that go out to work every day and night knowing that one mistake can cost them their lives ,but to penalise one section of the industry is not the way to do it.



Felicitations Friday!


This is definitely a knees-up Friday.

Another grandchild for BK

Party City

Another brilliant post from Bushfire Bill (and equally brilliant renaming thereof)


Another unbelievable week from this agile, innovative, exciting regime that seems to be losing its wheels at a smart clip

Car Crash

More than high time for a good carouse (and I will finish marking the assignments tomorrow).

The Rehabillitation

Michael Gordon wrote this morning:

It is a measure of the immense level of faith and hope that is still invested in Turnbull that, each time, there has been a tendency to rationalise the setbacks as part of some cunning plan that will deliver later on

Clear thinkers will notice Mr Gordon taking one step away from “The Media”…  i.e. “that Media, over there”. They may not think we’ve noticed it, but the first stage of the self-rehabilitation of media commentators is to refer – obliquely or directly – to the media, as if they are not part of it.

Hartcher does this all the time. And now many more are doing so in regards to Bill Shorten, the latest being Gordon.


We all mocked Lenore Taylor (of all people!) saying that the State Income Tax brainfart was so stupid that it MUST have been part of some overarching strategy that Turnbull had in his genius head, which we mere mortals could only begin to guess at. So Lenore guessed, and The Insiders all nodded sagely. It was a brilliantly oblique move to make fools of the Premiers, while making a fool of himself. Something Malcolm must have been been workshopping, honing and mulling over for months.

Except he forgot to tell ScoMo, and the Treasury mob, who presumably were about to be asked to tear up Budget 2016, Draft No. 7 to make it seem like a plan. And all less than a month before B-Day (early B-Day, that is).

Funny wasn’t it? This was the exact spruik that came out first thing next day, this time from the mouths of Liberal MPs at doorstops, as justification for the waste of an entire COAG premiers’ meeting. It was their Talking Point for the day (and that’s about as long as it lasted, such was its brilliance). Oh well, onto the next investment opportunity.

Either Lenore and The Insiders inspired them, or it was the other way round. Whatever, it shows that incest is not yet a dead art when it comes to political commentary.

It was Lenore, reportedly a “good journalist”, still keeping the faith that Turnbull is a tactical and political savant: the person best suited (in view of ScoMo’s comments on Shortens actual suits, literally “best suited”) to govern Australia.

But Lenore is a fading breed. Even Elizabeth Faralley of the SMH – she of “Prime Minister For Life: Malcolm Turnbull” fame – is backing off.

It’s a process of gradual and complete reversal of opinion, that the Press Gallery bozos think the mob won’t notice. Well, I and many others here, noticed straightaway, right from the start.

There was also another column this morning by some SMH numpty called Tom Allard: No more zingers: Shorten finds his voice at last. It was one of the most repulsively condescending pieces I’ve ever read on Bill Shorten, or any other politician.

It lasciviously covered all “the usual suspects” – Shorten’s low personal rating, the almost impossibility of him ever winning a chook raffle, much less an election, the “Albanese Challenge”, “anonymous party sources” talking-down Shorten’s ability to do anything at all, regulation references to Shaun Micallef’s”brilliant” comedy routines lampooning Shorten’s zingers etc. etc – and ascribed his apparent revival path in the minds of the ordinary punters down to conjurer’s tricks: a voice coach (who just happens to be a maddy who sings in funny voices), and slick political salesmen (read “tricksters”) in the background who are pulling the real strings… plus, of course, Turnbull’s inexplicable gaffathon of the past two months.

See? It’s nothing that Bill Shorten did himself: it’s other people… voice coaches, spivs and spin doctors, and the Enlightened One From Point Piper not quite being on top of his game lately.

No credit was given for the very sensible policy of letting your enemy shadow box with himself and slash his own political wrists, rather than deflect attention by the Abbott-like “Lookatmoi! Lookatmoi!” tactic. No reference was made to history, i.e. that Turnbull is known far and wide as a know-all brainfarter from way back who has never successfully led any kind of political movement in his life (as opposed to Shorten, who’s made every post in his career a winner), and that some of the voting class just might be aware, or might become aware of this.

No reference was made to the fact that you can’t just change leaders and dance anymore in the Labor Party, an idea with which the “anonymous party sources” let on to Allard they might be dallying. Gee, it was a close thing! But they let little Billy survive. What good chaps! Maybe later?

In truth, a leadership challenge now would mean a cynical and completely disruptive change of party rules solemnly entered into to even get to a caucus challenge: a challenge that would incidentally play right into the hands of the Tories, and de-legitimize any new leader who benefited from it, immediately, for any number of reasons (not the least of which would be the plonkingly mocking articles that Tom Allard would no doubt write about a “resurgently dysfunctional Labor”). But the journos persist that such a consuming apocalypse might happen. Oh, for the old days of “bring it on” leadership stoushes at 3pm, after a Crean interview at 10am.

They want to write those articles, make no mistake, but at the moment the meal is all potato and no meat. Bill Shorten is annoyingly not conforming to the “Human Dad Joke With The Squeaky Voice” meme. They thought they got rid of him at TURC time, but he just keeps bouncing back. All those “questions that need to be answered”… got answered, and thrown in their collective maws. How “quaint” – as Aguirre puts it.

So, there’s still a way to go in getting a majority of the Press Gallery into line, thinking positively about a Labor victory, something worth considering for more than its novelty value. Far be it from journalists like Allard – who has most likely never led anything more than a soccer team (if that) – to stop criticising Bill Shorten, who has  led one of Australia’s most rambunctious unions, organizing it into an effective and efficient fighting force as a result, and who now has gotten a defeated, decimated and demoralized Opposition ahead in the feted Newspoll horse race against the member for the Cayman Islands, while the Gallery was too busy writing hagiographies to the PM’s magnificence.

The reality is that Shorten is refusing to play the media’s game, they way they want him to play it. He actually defends himself. The horror! He actually refuses to stand down when some trumped up minor Age hack demands he does so. He persists when a has-been, harumphing old judge descends to threatening him in public for being too truthful in his evidence (as he also threatened Julia Gillard). Shorten keeps on fighting and trying, and now it seems, is starting to show measurable success that confounds, confuses and contradicts the established Media “line”. He comes up with the policy they’re all demanding he comes up with – even if they mostly call this “running a scare campaign” at this early stage in the Rehabilitation of Bill.

I suppose I shouldn’t complain too much. As long as they get it right in the end, I for one will take that as a win, even if it is grudging, slow, a bit heckly and somewhat half-hearted. Because, for any Gallery reporter or political commentator to admit he or she was wrong – so often wrong in so many ways – is still something to be talked about, something worth noting, right here.

After all, it’s difficult not to note something that’s up and chewing your arse so hard.