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Background

The Office of the Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman (ASBFEO) was requested by the former Minister for Small Business, the Hon Kelly O’Dwyer MP, under section 42(1) of the Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman Act 2015, to undertake an inquiry into the effect on Australian small businesses of the Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal’s Contractor Driver Minimum Payments Road Safety Remuneration Order 2016.

Background

In December 2015, the Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal announced it would be introducing new minimum pay rates for owner-drivers under the Contractor Driver Minimum Payments Road Safety Remuneration Order 2016.

The Order was due to come into effect on 4 April 2016. On 1 April 2016, the Federal Court of Australia ordered a stay on the Order, which was subsequently lifted on 7 April 2016.

On 10 April, the Government announced its intention to introduce a bill to abolish the Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal. The legislation was passed on 18 April 2016.

The Government has committed to redirecting the previous Tribunal funding to the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator.

Purpose of the inquiry

The ASBFEO gathered information to find out the impact of the Payments Order on Australian small businesses.

The former Minister has also requested that the ASBFEO consider the ways in which the government can consult with small businesses in the development and operation of tribunals and other similar bodies.