Nationals say give in to shutdown supporters and scrap fatigue laws

By: Jason Whittaker


The Nationals claim the Brumby Government is to blame for the looming truck shutdown because of its willingness to push

The Nationals claim the Brumby Government is to blame for the looming truck shutdown because of its willingness to push ahead with new fatigue management laws.

Opposition spokeswoman on local government and planning Jeanette Powell says the regulations, to come into force on September 29, need to be scrapped if the Government hopes to avert the July 28 shutdown.

Powell claims the Government’s refusal to budge on the issue is creating angst among truck drivers because they are not prepared for the laws.

According to Powell, the new regulations will "have no clear benefit in preventing driver fatigue".

"The trucking industry is the life-blood of the nation and is already facing severe challenges as fuel prices continue to rise. It does not need this extra assault on its viability," she says.

"All Minister [for Roads and Ports Tim] Pallas and his colleagues have to do is to put the September changes on hold and open discussions with the industry to work towards a better, simpler and fairer system.

"If he refuses to listen and the July 28 stoppage goes ahead, the chaos which is likely to follow will be his responsibility."

Part of listening involves altering the Government’s stance on new logbooks, according to Powell.

She says the logbooks are complicated and confusing and will add to the regulatory burden on drivers.

The Shepparton MP says the lack of understanding is causing drivers to fear for their livelihood.

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