Labor promises to toughen operator payment terms

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Labor has beefed up its bid to win the trucking industry’s vote in the May 21 federal election with a promise to ensure small business bills are paid within 30 days.

Deputy Leader of the Opposition and Shadow Small Business Minister Richard Marles has also pledged to reduce small business transaction costs at the point of payment with a clear timetable for the implementation of ‘least cost routing’. “.

This could save businesses up to $804 million a year in merchant fees.

National Road Transport Association CEO Warren Clark said his association has been calling for 30-day bills for decades and will continue to push for them to become law.

“Along with the unfair contract legislation which nearly passed through parliament last month, this is one of the holy grails for operators in our industry,” Clark said.

“Cash flow really is king for NatRoad members who operate on razor-thin profit margins of around 2.5%.”

In its recent response to a Senate inquiry into the trucking industry, the Coalition said it was already doing enough to ensure truckers are paid on time and rejected the Senate committee’s recommendation that a independent body be created to set binding standards for Pay.

The government said the payment terms reporting system introduced on January 1, 2021 “improves payment outcomes for small businesses by creating transparency around large businesses’ payment practices to small business suppliers.”

Another policy introduced on July 1 last year requires large companies under government contract to pay their subcontractors within 20 calendar days or pay interest.

Earlier last week, Labor pledged to invest $80 million to build more rest areas for truckers if elected next month.

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