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Safe Payments

In July 2008, federal, state and territory transport ministers requested that the NTC provide a report to the Australian Transport Council in November 2008 on safe rates.

The purpose was to investigate and report on driver remuneration and payment methods in the transport industry and make recommendations for reform. The scope of this work included:

  • reviewing the current payment methods and rates of pay for both employee drivers and owner-drivers;
  • examining the impact of driver remuneration and payment methods on safety risks and outcomes within the heavy vehicle transport industry;
  • examining how Chain of Responsibility obligations can be applied in this area; and
  • developing legislative recommendations to improve safety outcomes.

The NTC was assisted in this process by two industry leading experts, the Hon Lance Wright QC, former president of the NSW Industrial Relations Commission, and Professor Michael Quinlan, an OH&S expert from the University of NSW. A link to this advice is provided below:

Remuneration and Safety in the Australian Heavy Vehicle Industry (410.82 KB)

On 7 November 2008, the ATC considered advice about a national framework for setting and maintaining safe payments systems in the road transport industry, including safe rates for owner drivers and employees.
The NTC report (below) stated the existence of a link between driver remuneration and safety outcomes in the heavy vehicle industry and made a number of recommendations for actions to address this link.

Safe Payments - Addressing the Underlying Causes of Unsafe Practices in the Road Transport Industry (343.49 KB)

In responding to the NTC report, the Australian Government asked the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations (DEEWR) to consult with industry stakeholders and develop models for possible reform in the industry, building on the recommendations in the NTC report.
As part of this process, a Safe Rates Advisory Group (SRAG) was established by the Government, to provide expert industry advice on policy options for national reform.

For more information about SRAG and to download a copy of the Safe Rates, Safe Roads Directions Paper, visit:



Last Updated: 19/4/2018