The Australian Small Business Blog

Monday, April 04, 2016

Government body determined to destroy 40k small businesses

by Dr Greg Chapman

The Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal (RSRT), has decided that it wants to destroy 40,000 small trucking firms by demanding that they charge up to five times more for the same service than big freight companies.

Did you know that there is a government body that can decide how much a business can charge? Well, not just any business, just the trucking business. Why the trucking business? It’s because of an unholy alliance between the Transport Workers Union and the big truckers.

As in the US prohibition times, there was an alliance between Bootleggers and Baptists, who both wanted prohibition to continue, and also in the building industry an alliance between the big builders and the unions to kill competition, so they can win tenders at higher prices, and share the profits with unions, the same strategy is being pursued for road transport through a government body created by the previous Labor government, at the behest of their TWU paymasters.

Using safety as a Trojan Horse to destroy the 40,000 independent trucking businesses, whose employees are typically not members of the TWU, they have demanded that higher charges for freight services be mandated for just these smaller firms, ostensibly so that drivers will not be tempted to be on the road driving unsafely for more hours than they should. This is already against the law. Drivers are required to have log books, but this is not enough for the unions and the big truckers.

The big truckers want to drive their competitors out of business to maintain their profit margins, and the TWU wants complete unionisation of the industry. Labor of course, will receive increased donations from a grateful TWU. Bootleggers and Baptists. Once the competition has been eliminated, the big truckers will increase their rates and gouge farmers, which are also, mostly, small businesses.

If safety, was the real concern, other remedies such as greater enforcement of existing regulations, perhaps with higher penalties, or the mandating of readily available, low cost technology that tracks all vehicle movements. Unhappily for the TWU, and their big trucker partners, this would not provide them the outcome they truly desire.

This is just corruption.

The number of people affected by this ruling from this tribunal stacked with Labor appointees, particularly when you include farmers, far outweighs those affected by the closure of the taxpayer funded, union controlled auto manufacturing industry, but how much have you heard about this being reported in the media? The Australian has been providing some coverage- latest here ($$$), but I haven’t found any from the love media.

Currently, there is a temporary court injunction on implementation of this grotesque order, which was due to commence today. Naturally, the TWU is set to challenge this order, which tells you all you need to know about their true intentions.

I don’t normally raise political issues on this blog, but this outrageous attack on small business has been poorly covered and needs much more attention. Small business owners hold a very wide range of political views, and trying to organise them into action is like trying to herd cats, but if your MP is a Labor member, why not contact them and let them know your views on this if you are as outraged as I am, and remind them that there is an election this year. If they are unmoved, asked them how much was their share of the TWU donation.

All you need to do now is to Empower yourself and take action ...

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Dr Greg Chapman is the Director of Empower Business Solutions and is Australia's Leading Advisor on Emerging Businesses and provides Coaching and Consulting advice to Australian Small Business Owners in Marketing & Business Strategies Planning & Systems. He is also the author of The Five Pillars of Guaranteed Business Success and Price: How You Can Charge More Without Losing Sales.

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