EDITORIAL: Shiny bums should make way for real industry experience

By: Jason Whittaker

The problem with the shiny bums is they don’t often get out of the office. It’s hard to see what

The problem with the shiny bums is they don’t often get out of the office. It’s hard to see what happens on the ground from the high-rise corner office.

The transport bureaucracy is in desperate need of an injection of real-world operational experience. Particularly as the bureaucrats embrace a new round of planning and regulatory reform.

State governments have been charged with leading important work in a number of reform areas across transport policy. But ATN understands there is serious concern the states could hijack the process. Getting insular state jurisdictions to champion national reforms will be a tough ask indeed.

The trucking industry needs to make the case for harmonising regulations and improved planning and investment in infrastructure to fast-track higher productivity vehicles. The ATA is right to ask for a seat at the table during these important discussions.

Similarly, on the board of the National Transport Commission (NTC). The federal Transport Minister is currently considering proposals from his state colleagues for new commissioners to add to a body seriously lacking in operational experience.

As ATN has reported, Ron Finemore is on the shortlist and should be accepted. But with union hack Tony Sheldon withdrawing his nomination, the Minister must look to industry to provide the necessary industry input.

Australia’s grand vision for the year 2020 scarcely mentions transport and logistics strategy, according to Kevin Rudd’s weekend gabfest. With transport leaders uninvited or ignored, the grand ideas summit produced no new ideas to improve transport efficiency as the freight task booms.

It’s time, now more than ever, the industry’s voice is heard above the din of know-it-all bureaucrats.

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