Operators forced to stop work by shutdown organisers: QTA

By: Jason Whittaker


Small trucking operators have been forced from the road due to threats from shutdown organisers, according to the Queensland Trucking

Small trucking operators have been forced from the road due to threats from shutdown organisers, according to the Queensland Trucking Association (QTA).

QTA Chief Executive Peter Garske says operators rang the association last week expressing concern over their safety following an email circulated by the Australian Long Distance Owners and Drivers Association (ALDODA) warning drivers to stay at home if they refused to take part in the shutdown.

Garske claims the email intimidated companies to the point where they felt unsafe to be operating while the shutdown runs for two weeks from July 28.

"The irresponsible activity last week of circulating threatening messages throughout the industry appear to have resulted in some smaller operators from staying off Queensland’s roads," Garske says.

"Their absence should not be taken as support for either the actions or demands of these self appointed spokespersons of industry."

Garske says ALDODA as well as the National Road Transport Forum—which has launched its own shutdown—are incapable of being educated by governments on impending fatigue laws, driving hours and road user charges.

"Notwithstanding the efforts of Government to educate these so-called industry leaders, their failure to respond and their continuing to disrupt traffic on our roads is to be condemned," Garske says.

"Holding the Queensland public, their fellow operators and government to ransom is extreme and irresponsible. Much more will be achieved by working with Government rather than working against Government."

Garske says owner-drivers should stop striking and return to work.

But ALDODA argues too many owner-drivers are going out of business and governments need to step in to help them remain viable.

ALDODA wants better pay for owner-drivers, the diesel excise scrapped and fatigue management and logbook laws abolished.

The QTA has also questioned the relevance of ALDODA’s shutdown on the basis of pay rates following the announcement the National Transport Commission (NTC) will investigate remuneration methods in the heavy vehicle industry.

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