Western Australian Industrial Relations Commission

Road Freight Transport Industry Tribunal

The Road Freight Transport Industry Tribunal came into existence on 1 August 2008 on the proclamation of the Owner-Drivers (Contracts and Disputes) Act 2007 (OD Act). A member of the Commission sits as the Tribunal. The Act has been passed to promote a safe and sustainable road freight transport industry by regulating the relationship between persons who enter into contracts to transport goods in heavy vehicles and persons who hire them to do so. The Act regulates employees, sub-contractors, corporations and partnerships that carry on the business of transporting goods.

 

What is the Road Freight Transport Industry Tribunal?

The Tribunal has been established by the OD Act. A member of the Commission sits as the Tribunal.

The Tribunal has jurisdiction to deal with:
  1. disputes arising under or in relation to the terms of an owner-driver contract;
  2. disputes arising under or in relation to the OD Act and the code of conduct and breaches of the OD Act and the code of conduct; and
  3. a matter arising in relation to the conduct of joint negotiations for an owner-driver contract.
 

Who can refer a dispute or matter to the Tribunal?

A dispute or matter may be referred to the Tribunal -

  1. in the case of a dispute arising under or in relation to an owner-driver contract, by -
    1. a person who is a party to the owner-driver contract; or
    2. a transport association in which a party to the owner-driver contract is eligible to be enrolled as a member; or
    3. an inspector; or
    4. the Minister;

and

  1. in the case of a dispute arising under or in relation to this Act or the code of conduct, or involving an allegation that a person has contravened this Act or the code of conduct, by -
    1. an owner-driver or hirer with a sufficient interest in the dispute; or
    2. a transport association; or
    3. except in a case involving an allegation that a person has contravened Part 6 - an inspector; or
    4. the Minister;

and

  1. in the case of a matter arising in relation to the conduct of joint negotiations for an owner-driver contract by -
    1. an owner-driver or hirer with a sufficient interest in the matter; or
    2. a transport association; or
    3. the Minister.

 

Who is defined as an owner-driver under the Owner-Drivers (Contracts and Disputes) Act?

An owner-driver is a natural person, a corporation or a partnership that carries on the business of transporting goods.

 

 

Does a person served with a referral have to file an answering statement?

A person who is served with a referral will have to file an answering statement. The time for service of the statement will be endorsed on the referral by the Registrar of the Commission. The form for the answering statement is Form 5.

 

Has the code of conduct been published?

The code of conduct was published on 1 July 2010. The code can be seen here.

 

How is a matter or dispute referred to the Tribunal?

A claim is referred to the Tribunal by completing a Form 7A and either lodging it at the address below or completing it online. There is no fee for filing the form.

The form is to be completed by the person referring the claim or dispute (the applicant), an industrial agent or solicitor.

 

Once the claim has been filed does it have to be sent to anyone else?

The applicant is required to serve the referral form on the party or parties involved in the claim or dispute. The procedure to be followed is set out in the Part 10A of the Industrial Relations Commission Regulations 2005. The form you are required to complete showing that is has been served is Form 4.

 

How does the tribunal resolve disputes and matters?

The Tribunal will in most cases commence proceedings by calling a compulsory conciliation conference and require nominated persons to attend.

A compulsory conciliation conference may be called at short notice and a person may be summoned to attend by oral communication, by fax, by email, by telephone or in writing. Such a conference can be called prior to the filing of an answering statement. This is likely to occur when a matter is regarded as urgent.

Except in relation to a matter arising concerning the conduct of joint negotiations for an owner-driver contract, if a matter is not resolved through conciliation the Tribunal may hear and determine the dispute.

If the Tribunal arbitrates a dispute it may:

  1. order the payment of a sum of money -
    1. found by the Tribunal to be owing by one party to another party;
    2. by way of damages (including exemplary damages and damages in the nature of interest); or
    3. by way of restitution;
  2. order the refund of any money paid under an owner-driver contract;
  3. make an order in the nature of an order for specific performance of an owner-driver contract
  4. declare that a debt is, or is not, owing;
  5. order a party to do, or to refrain from doing, something;
  6. make any other order it considers fair, including declaring void any unjust term of an owner-driver contract.

Except in relation to (f), the Tribunal cannot, insert a term into; or otherwise vary, an owner-driver contract.

In making a determination, the Tribunal must endeavor to ensure that the matter is resolved taking into account any agreement reached by the parties on any particular issue; and on terms that could reasonably have been agreed between the parties in the first instance or by conciliation. The Tribunal may also make orders to prevent persons from entering into owner-driver contracts.

 

If a party is dissatisfied by a decision of the Tribunal can they appeal?

A party has similar rights of appeal to parties dissatisfied with a decision of the Commission and may appeal to the Full Bench of the Western Australian Industrial Relations Commission and to the Industrial Appeal Court.

 

   

Forms for use in the Tribunal

The forms to be used in proceedings before the Tribunal can be found here.

 

Where is the Tribunal?

The Tribunal is located at the Western Australian Industrial Relations Commission, Level 17, 111 St Georges Terrace, Perth, WA 6000. The Tribunal may also hear matters, subject to the availability of the parties, in country towns and regional locations.

Address:
17th Floor, 111 St Georges Terrace
PERTH WA 6000

Phone: 9420 4444
Facsimile: 9420 4500
Freecall: 1800 624 263
Freefax: 1800 804 987

 

From time to time the laws applicable to the Tribunal may change. While the information will usually be reflected on the website it is your responsibility to check the relevant law.

Contact Us

Western Australian Industrial Relations Commission
17th Floor
111 St Georges Terrace
PERTH WA 6000

Phone : (08) 9420 4444
Facsimile : (08) 9420 4500
Free Call : 1800 624 263

Free Fax :1800 804 987

Email : mail reg

 

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