Western Australian Industrial Relations Commission

Use of a “heavy vehicle” must be expressly stated to invoke Tribunal’s jurisdiction

The Road Freight Transport Industry Tribunal has dismissed an applicant’s claim for wrongful termination of contract and unconscionable conduct, on the basis that the agreement between the parties did not constitute an “owner-driver contract” as there was no requirement under the agreement and no business requirement for the applicant to use a heavy vehicle.

The Tribunal found that unless the terms of the contract provide for the use of a heavy vehicle as defined in s 3 of the Owner-Drivers (Contracts and Disputes) Act 2007 (WA), then the resulting contract is not one amenable to the Tribunal’s jurisdiction.

The Tribunal held that while the respondent would have been aware the applicant was considering obtaining a larger vehicle to perform the services, that is not the same as constituting an agreement that the applicant use a heavy vehicle for the purposes of the OD Act.

The application was dismissed for want of jurisdiction.

The decision can be read here

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