WHILE transport operators and drivers are worried about what to pay or what they should be paid under safe rates, the TWU has advised Big Rigs that it was too early to know.
The Safe Rates Tribunal has been set up and is now a part of legislation, but it will be some time before any safe rates are actually set by the tribunal. Under the legislation they have a year to set a rate.
Mr Forno said there should be some determination by January 1 next year.
"That will give an opportunity for the Safe Rates Tribunal to bed down and make decisions," he said.
"They've just been appointed by the Federal Government."
He said the TWU wanted to see a system like what was happening in NSW.
"Present legislation does not cover cost-recovery mechanisms. There's nothing there at the moment."
When the safe rates are decided, a minimum rate of pay will cover all drivers on a national basis.
"Experts have found that no cost recovery leads drivers to drive longer and harder to achieve a decent wage," Mr Forno said.
"That's why there are more fatalities."
Under safe rates, major clients or retailers will no longer be able to force rates of pay down.
"Owner drivers will have a cost recovery mechanism. They will be paid for what they do.
"It will be legally enforceable.
"They can't hold you up for four to five hours and not pay."
Mr Forno said the TWU was working on a figure it would like to see paid, but it was not finalised yet.
"It has to be just and fair to everyone," he said.