OWNER truck drivers can breathe a sigh of relief after new changes to truckie pay rates were blocked on Friday, according to the Federal Member for Flynn Ken O'Dowd.

The Road Safety and Remuneration Tribunal intended to introduce changes to pay rates yesterday which would have ensured drivers were paid for loading and unloading times, as well as when they cleaned, inspected, serviced and repaired their trucks and trailers.

"We've got a stay of execution and it is a stay of execution because these local owner drivers are being killed by this new regime," Mr O' Dowd said.

"We don't know how long it's going to take for the legislation to be revisited by the tribunal but I can tell you every truck owner in Australia is up in arms over this.

"It's got to be stopped otherwise we can say goodbye to 35,000 owner drivers and 60,000 employees and they'll all become union drivers working for big companies and the little truck owner will be wiped out," he said.

Owner of Gladstone's KJP Haulage Kirk Porter said although his business was protected against the proposed changes, smaller owner drivers would struggle to make any profit.

"The changes have merit and substance but I don't believe it should target owner drivers --- it should be across the board," Mr Porter said.

"It's the big companies that should be targeted with these rates so they don't go in with these ridiculously low rates and push their drivers to do more."



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