Joe Kelly, 07 April 2016

The Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal, set up by Julia Gillard in 2012 to make the nation’s roads safer, consists of four members of the Fair Work Commission and four industry members with specialist knowledge of the transport sector.

Under the 2012 act, the Fair Work Commission members do not draw “any additional remuneration for their role in the tribunal”. The four industry members receive a base salary of $41,780 and an additional fee of $628 for attending meetings.

The tribunal was established to promote safety and fairness in the road transport sector by ensuring that drivers do not have pay-related incentives that could put them in danger.

Then transport minister Anthony Albanese welcomed the passage of the 2012 legislation, saying the tribunal would help “reduce economic incentives for drivers to make unfair and unrealistic deadlines, cut corners on safety and maintenance or take illicit substances to keep them awake to get to destinations on time”.

“Road accidents involving heavy vehicles cost our economy an estimated $2.7 billion a year, but the cost to victims’ families can’t be measured,” he said.

The tribunal president is Jennifer Acton, a FWC senior deputy president who was appointed to the Australian Industrial Relations Commission, a predecessor of the current industrial umpire, in 1992.

She was appointed in July 2012 by then workplace relations minister and now Opposition Leader Bill Shorten.

As a former senior deputy president of the AIRC, Ms Acton is entitled to a salary equivalent to a Federal Court judge and receives a base salary of $420,810.

Previously, Ms Acton had worked for 10 years as a senior industrial officer with the ACTU.

FWC senior deputy president Lea Drake, another member of the Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal, also qualifies for a base salary of $420,810, having been appointed to the AIRC in 1994.

Both will qualify for a pension for life set at about 60 per cent of the salary attached to their former positions.

The other two Fair Work Commission members of the tribunal are Ingrid Asbury — who was appointed a deputy president of the industrial umpire by Mr Shorten — and commissioner Peter Hampton, who was appointed to the FWC in 2010. Ms Asbury is entitled to a base salary of $337,380 while Mr Hampton, as a FWC commissioner, is entitled to a base salary of $266,870.

The industry members sit in on full bench matters at the discretion of Ms Acton.

Extracted in full from The Australian.