ALDODA launches class action against QLD Govt

By: Jason Whittaker


An owner-driver association is attempting to sue the Queensland Government following a failed bid to gain attention by waging a

An owner-driver association is attempting to sue the Queensland Government following a failed bid to gain attention by waging a two-week strike.

The Australian Long Distance and Owner Drives Association’s (ALDODA) efforts of rolling stoppages and freight disruptions from June 12 to June 25 failed to sway decision makers into legislating $2.54/km and $30 an hour for the first eight hours as well as an end to logbook fines.

As such, the organisation has been forced to turn to the courts in an effort to get its way. ALDODA’s legal team is drawing up documents to hand to the State Government to notify it of the group’s decision to launch a class action.

Queensland is the only state in which drivers lose demerit points and receive a fine for logbook breaches. ALDODA argues this is unjust because drivers cannot meet logbook requirements when they cannot find adequate facilities to rest.

It claims the Government is failing in its duty of care to truck drivers by mandating when they need to rest but not building enough rest areas to ensure drivers have a place to pull over.

"When the Government implemented the new logbook laws on March 1, 2007, they failed to provide parking bays with humane facilities to enable drivers to combat fatigue and legally abide by the new laws that they implemented," a statement from ALDODA says.

ALDODA is attempting to shore up support for the class action by holding a number of meetings across the State before issuing the documents to the Government.

The group expected to gain support from the Federal Government over its two-week strike, with Queensland President of ALDODA Lyn Bennetts saying she was in talks with Prime Minister Kevin Rudd’s office.

But as well failing to get the Government onside, ALDODA has been unsuccessful in convincing industry groups such as the Australian Trucking Association (ATA) its way is the right course of action. The ATA has distanced itself from owner-driver strikes, refusing to support ALDODA or similar campaigns.

But in a shot at the Transport Workers Union, the ATA and NatRoads, Bennetts sent a letter to the media saying the organisations do not "represent the majority of owner drivers and drivers of the interstate transport industry".

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