SA Government looks to the industry to solve driver shortages

By: Jason Whittaker


The South Australian Government will form a taskforce involving the South Australian Road Transport Association (SARTA) to address driver shortages

The South Australian Government will form a taskforce involving the South Australian Road Transport Association (SARTA) to address driver shortages currently affecting the trucking industry.

Minister for Transport Patrick Conlon says the growing demand for drivers to meet the "largest mining boom in the State’s history" means the Government must take a pro-active approach to ensuring all is done to attract as well as retain quality drivers.

Colon will co-chair the Future of South Australia Freight Taskforce with Employment and Training Minister Pail Caica, with Trudi Meakins, the Executive Director of Policy and Planning in the Department of Transport, Energy and Infrastructure, co-ordinating the group.

"It is absolutely vital for this state that we have enough truck rivers to meet the demands of our economy," Conlon says.

Along with SARTA, the taskforce will involve the SA Freight Council, the Transport Workers Union, SA Police, Safework SA and other government and industry groups.

The taskforce will look at ways of ensuring sustainable future supplies of truck drivers.

"There already is an ever-increasing need for truck drivers in all areas of the State and I believe government needs to play a strong role in ensuring we are prepared," Conlon says.

"The Government has already been involved in some very good work through the Industry Skill Board’s ongoing relationship with the road transport industry but I think it’s time for a stronger focus."

Conlon says the Government is also considering working with immigration authorities to look to skilled migrants to fill driver vacancies.

"Truck driving is – and should be – seen as an attractive, well paid and secure employment option for South Australians and migrants," Conlon says.

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