Industry group seeks legal advice following ALDODA threats

By: Jason Whittaker


The Victorian Transport Association (VTA) is taking legal action against an unrepresentative owner-drivers organisation after it threatened violence against those

The Victorian Transport Association (VTA) is taking legal action against an unrepresentative owner-drivers organisation after it threatened violence against those opposing its impending truck shutdown.

The Australian Long Distance and Owner Drivers Association (ALDODA) is circulating an email saying drivers attempting to work will be targeted when the shutdown starts on July 28.

ALDODA Queensland President Lyn Bennetts, who is responsible for the threat, says shutdown advocates will not stand by and let operators continue to work, advising them to stay at home to avoid putting their "life or health at risk during this shutdown".

Neil Chambers from the VTA says concerned operators are calling the association saying shutdown supporters are threatening to damage their trucks if they refuse to support their cause.

Despite these concerns, Bennetts says "innocent people do get hurt".

As a result, the VTA has written to all shutdown organisers saying any damages will be sought if transport companies suffer losses through any illegal actions.

"I have also sought legal advice as to any legal consequence this group will face from this stupid and irresponsible action," he says.

"This unrepresentative group, which is trying to incite a national shutdown of owner-drivers, has openly encouraged violence towards drivers who continue to drive will the alleged shutdown is on."

Lovel, who has labelled Bennets’ threat "absolutely abhorrent", has contacted the police to ensure operators are free to work and roads are not blockaded by ALDODA.

The group—which the VTA has found is not a representative industry association according to ASIC company records—is also threatening to blockade diesel supplies.

But following a barrage of criticism from industry groups, Bennetts is now attempting to withdraw her threats of violence, claiming she is not responsible for instigating them.

But the Australian Trucking Association (ATA) says any incidents arising from ALDODA’s actions will be the fault of the organisation, because it has a moral duty to make sure it does not descend into violence.

"They organised the shutdown, and now it is their responsibility to make sure it doesn’t get out of hand," ATA Chairman Trevor Martyn says.

"They can’t hide behind glib disclaimers and phrases like ‘innocent people do get hurt’. They are responsible for the results of their decisions."

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