Bill Shorten’s radical plan to run the country like a union has ramped up today with revelations a Labor Government would examine reinstating the Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal (RSRT) just three years after the Liberal and Nationals’ Government repealed the union-dictated law.

Deputy Prime Minister and Nationals’ Leader Michael McCormack said the policy is an attack on family-owned businesses and would bring the Australian trucking industry to its knees again.

“Labor has learned absolutely nothing from the botched RSRT Bill Shorten set up in Government,” Mr McCormack said.

“The RSRT is ill-named and short-sighted. It forced hard-working owner drivers off the road last time and brought many small businesses to a halt just because when Labor is in Government it only dances to the unions’ tune.

“A 2016 review into the RSRT by the Small Business Ombudsman found there was no link between pay rates and road safety. That’s why we stood up for small business and got rid of the RSRT while we invest in a record $75 billion infrastructure pipeline to help make roads safer.”

Mr McCormack said the hard-working trucking industry will not be fooled by Labor’s plan to reinstate the RSRT.

“Labor’s plan to possibly reinstate the RSRT has nothing to do with safety – it is yet another policy which reminds every hard-working Australian and every small business owner in this country – Labor will always takes its marching orders from unions.”

“This puts pressure on small businesses, on family businesses, and that can threaten jobs and productivity, especially in the regions.

“We have fought for small business against Labor and the unions before and we will do it again.”

Jobs Minister Kelly O’Dwyer said the RSRT’s Payment Order was found to be discriminatory, financially devastating and economically disastrous to those covered by it. The Tribunal was also found to have demonstrated a complete misunderstanding of the day-to-day operational reality of the industry that it sought to interfere with.

“The RSRT was bad for small business, bad for owner truck drivers, bad for families and bad for the economy. Two independent reviews, an ombudsman inquiry and countless testimony from those subjected to the Tribunal made that crystal clear,” Ms O’Dwyer said.

“It’s clear Bill Shorten is focused on one thing and one thing only – helping his militant union bosses, not hard-working Australians. The TWU get the RSRT, the MUA get to design their own shipping laws, the CFMEU get to see the back of the building industry regulator.”

Today’s union-led re-examination follows speculation a Labor Government would hand control of Australia’s shipping industry to the radical Maritime Union of Australia.

“No union idea – no matter its cost to the economy, cost of living for consumers or jobs – is too radical for Bill Shorten and the Labor Party,” Mr McCormack said.

“And it’s ordinary Australians in small business who will pay the price.”

Hannah Maguire