INDUSTRY body NatRoad has welcome “imminent changes” to the Owner Drivers and Forestry Contractors Amendment Bill 2019 impacting on invoicing payment terms for owner drivers.

The Victorian legislative change is effective from 1 May 2020 and requires payment of invoices within 30 days of receiving an invoice from contractors where the contractor is an owner driver.

“Cashflow is the single biggest reason for small businesses going under and many large businesses are paying invoices well beyond 30 days. Unfortunately many are using COVID-19 as an excuse to push payment times out even further,” NatRoad CEO Warren Clark said.

“It is hoped that the changes in Victoria can help reduce the uncertainty and inconsistency of payment times for small transport owner-operators but more needs to be done and changes introduced nationally.”

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Mr Clark said Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman Kate Carnell had recommended the federal government should adopt a maximum 30-day payment regime.

“While the federal Government has passed its Payment Times Reporting legislation into Parliament, it is unlikely to result in the systemic change because it is not binding,” Mr Clark said.

The current Business Council of Australia voluntary supplier payment code compels signatories to pay smaller suppliers within 30 days has proven, according to NatRoads, to be ineffective.

NatRoad has been asking the federal government to address this issue for a considerable period.  The best means of assisting industry and all owner-drivers would be for the federal government.

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