INDUSTRY body the Victorian Transport Association has backed a bill introduced to the state parliament aimed at making work safer and fairer for owner drivers and forestry contractors.

The bill was introduced to state parliament earlier this week by Treasurer and industrial relations minister Tim Pallas.

The legislation follows a review of the Owner Drivers and Forestry Contractors Act, which found many hirers and brokers were failing to comply with the Act.

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VTA chief executive Peter Anderson said the bill was a good move.

“As a member of the Victorian Transport Industry Council the VTA is in full support of this very important initiative taken by the government,” Mr Anderson said.

“No other state has made this type of commitment to improve the conditions for all owner drivers and ensure that safety is paramount in all contracts, and we commend Minister Pallas and the government for working with the industry to improve conditions for transport operators and those they employ.”

Under the changes, hirers and brokers face penalties of up to $4000 per infringement.

Wage Inspectorate Victoria, established last year, is to be responsible for monitoring compliance, increasing awareness and issuing penalties. It is to conduct a comprehensive information campaign before the laws take effect, to ensure those affected are aware of their rights and obligations and know where to go for help.

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