Court sides with tribunal on truck driver pay
A COURT has dismissed an attempt to stop the introduction of minimum pay for owner-driver truck drivers.
The Federal Court of Australia, sitting in Brisbane, on Thursday ruled the decision of the Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal had been made in the "public interest" and should not be stayed.
A court order temporarily halted the introduction of the tribunal's decision following an application from the National Road Transport Association and the Australian Industry Group.
The NRTA has claimed the minimum pay would prevent owner-drivers from competing and may lead to job losses.
The Transport Workers' Union challenged the NRTA action, stating a minimum pay would prevent drivers from driving dangerously long hours in order to make money.
But the Federal Court on Thursday ruled the 10 grounds relied upon had little chance of succeeding at hearing, and overturned the stay.
It then dismissed an application for the stay to remain in place until Monday as the NRTA lodges a High Court appeal on the Federal Court's ruling.
Justice Christopher Jessup CORRECT said the application for a stay's grounds lay "well towards the weaker end of the spectrum".
"There is a strong public interest in a road safety remuneration order made by the tribunal," he said.
Justice Jessup also criticised the NRTA for lodging the stay just days before the minimum pay scheme was to be introduced.
The NRTA is set to challenge the decision in the High Court. - ARM NEWSDESK