EDITORIAL: Stop the antics and leave reform process to professionals

By: Jason Whittaker

And so it came to a shutdown. Truckies converged on service stations and parked their trucks in what the Australian

And so it came to a shutdown. Truckies converged on service stations and parked their trucks in what the Australian Long Distance and Owner Drivers Association (ALDODA) claimed would bring the nation’s economy to its knees and force governments to accept its ludicrous demands.

But true to form, ALDODA ‘s latest stunt failed. In Western Australia it was over before it began, in Victoria as few as 30 trucks rolled up and in Brisbane about 43 trucks drove through the city centre.

Nobody is denying that many in the industry are suffering. But filling owner-drivers and operators with the false hope that threatening governments will work is misguided.

This embarrassing display from an unrepresentative group highlights the folly of its actions and the idiocy of its leadership. While ALDODA runs around thinking tooting horns loudly will cause wide-ranging reforms, legitimate industry groups are actually hard at work pushing for sensible solutions to rising costs and sustainable rates.

People like Lyn Bennetts may rant and rave that industry groups do nothing, but their track record looks a whole lot better than hers. This year alone, legitimate organisations have managed to finally steer governments toward creating a single registration and licensing system for the heavy vehicle industry.

And the transition period to fatigue management laws in NSW, Queensland and South Australia? That came from fierce lobbying from the Australian Trucking Association, the Queensland Trucking Association and the South Australian Road Transport Association, not ALDODA.

Even owner-drivers are getting a leg up. The Federal Government has removed a restriction barring Western Australia from establishing a dispute resolution and fair pay tribunal, meaning small operators, like the ones in Victoria, have an avenue to challenge dodgy contractors.

As for ALDODA, the only thing this mob has achieved is industry division by sniping from the sidelines. Bennetts and her cronies should stop their ill-informed antics and leave the reform process to groups that actually care about driving realistic reforms.

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