Departing QTA president outlines issues facing organisation

By: Jason Whittaker

Outgoing Queensland Trucking Association (QTA) President Tim Knowles has used his final President’s Annual Report to highlight the challenges and

Outgoing Queensland Trucking Association (QTA) President Tim Knowles has used his final President’s Annual Report to highlight the challenges and opportunities the organisation will face in the year ahead.

Addressing attendees during the QTA’s annual general meeting, Knowles spoke of membership issues and the need to keep up lobbying efforts at all levels of government.

With the QTA coming off "a modest profit for the year", Knowles says it is important to look at ways of increasing the organisation’s membership base, which makes up about 60 percent of the QTA’s income stream.

According to Knowles, briefing sessions have not been enough to boost membership numbers. He says the Centenary Year Committee, established to celebrate 100 years of the QTA, needs to examine ways of attracting new members.
"We have a way to go in getting membership numbers to increase significantly," he says.

Recent changes to the political landscape are also creating new challenges and opportunities for the QTA, Knowles says.

The transition of premiers from Peter Beattie to Anna Bligh resulted in the Department of Main Roads and Queensland Transport being separated.

"While this has made the task of engaging government a little more time consuming, it has had an unexpected benefit as the main roads minister has the additional responsibility of local government," Knowles says.

"Operators have for some time been frustrated by the lack of support or acceptance by some local governments for productivity-improving reforms implemented at the State level."

He also says the QTA needs to take advantage of recent council elections that came about after the amalgamation of a spate of local governments, particularly in Brisbane which now has a Liberal majority.

"In Brisbane City, the election result would suggest a more cohesive council is now in place and we look forward to some meaningful dialogue on freight strategy, including improved access for more productive vehicles," he says.

Knowles believes there will be a more cohesive approach at the federal level as well, saying the election of the Rudd Government, coupled with Labor ministers being in power in all states and territories, brings with it the chance of nationally consistent transport reforms.

He is also banking on changes to industrial relations laws as a way of increasing the QTA’s employment law service, which came in below budget the last financial year.

"It is anticipated that industrial relations law now being introduced by the Labor Federal Government will bring increased membership demand for service as members embrace the changes into their employing practices," Knowles says.

Knowles stands aside after three years as President of the QTA. During the annual general meeting he was replaced by Tim Squires of logistics company Kagan Brothers Consolidated.

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