ATA releases three-year strategic plan


Australian Trucking Association releases three-year strategic plan on the industry's safety, professionalism and viability

By Rob McKay | October 25, 2010

The Australian Trucking Association (ATA) has released a three-year strategic plan that heralds a change in strategy.

The 2011-2013 focus will be concentrated on increasing the trucking industry’s safety, professionalism and viability, the national peak body revealed on Friday.

ATA Chairman David Simon said the strategic plan would enable the ATA to "focus on the key issues that will get results for the whole trucking industry".

"The plan has a very strong emphasis on increasing the industry’s safety, with actions aimed at improving speed management, improving fitness for duty and reducing the number of fatigue-related accidents," the Chairman says.

"To get these results, we will work closely with the National Road Safety Council and the planned National Heavy Vehicle Regulator.

"The plan also puts forward important research projects into telematics and the effectiveness of fatigue countermeasures such as audio-tactile line marking and truck rest areas.

"Our aim is to publish independent, authoritative research about these issues, which are critically important in enabling the ATA to appropriately and professionally represent the industry."

It intends to release two Technical Advisory Procedures, to cover side and rear underrun protection and the use of electronic braking systems.

"The ATA’s Technical Advisory Procedures are best practice guides to technical issues," Simon adds.

"They are very highly regarded; for example, the New Zealand Government recently issued a guide to stopping wheel loss based, in part, on the ATA’s Commercial Vehicle Wheel Security Advisory Procedure.

"Side and rear underrun protection and the use of electronic braking raise important issues for trucking operators and maintainers. Our new procedures will provide them with the expert advice they need."

Putting ‘viability’ on the agenda will see member associations backed as they lobby for equitable and sensible registration charges.

"The ATA will continue refining the industry’s fuel based charging model, which would remove the massive upfront cost of paying annual registration charges," according to Simon.

"It would be a straightforward and cost-effective alternative to the complexities of mass-distance-location pricing."

Simon revealed that a communications consultant report on perceptions of the ATA in the political, the public service and the industry spheres had advised a more resources be directed to fewer issues.

"In response to this finding, the ATA’s Board of Management and General Council agreed the ATA should put together its first strategic plan," he says.

"The plan was developed by the chairs and members of the ATA’s policy committees, and I would like to thank them for their exceptional work.

"The ATA will review the plan every year, and publish a report card about our progress every six months to show what we have done to improve the industry’s safety, professionalism and viability."

"We will also do everything we can to protect the fuel tax credits received by trucking operators, which are under threat as a result of the Australian Greens’ policies."

Mr Simon said the ATA decided to develop the strategic plan after a stakeholder perceptions audit in 2009.

"We engaged a communications consultant to carry out interviews across politics, the public service and the industry to find out what we do well and what we could do better," he said.

"The consultant’s report found the ATA was highly regarded, but recommended we should refocus on a smaller number of priorities and push them harder.

"In response to this finding, the ATA’s Board of Management and General Council agreed the ATA should put together its first strategic plan. The plan was developed by the chairs and members of the ATA’s policy committees, and I would like to thank them for their exceptional work.

"The ATA will review the plan every year, and publish a report card about our progress every six months to show what we have done to improve the industry’s safety, professionalism and viability," he said.



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