VTA slams Pallas over 'monster trucks' attack


The Victorian Transport Association (VTA) has reacted with scorn to former Victorian roads minister Tim Pallas’s opportunistic attack on the state government over high productivity freight vehicles (HPFVs). <br /><br /> In a statement aimed squarely at gaining media attention but which is regarded in industry circles as a betrayal, Pallas accused the state government of a “secret plan” to allow “monster trucks” to gain access to Victorian roads that “could devastate the quality of life of many local communities”. This is the second time in tree years that an opposition spokesman has accused the sitting government of having a “secret plan” with regards to the more efficient combination.

By Rob McKay | September 28, 2011

 

The Victorian Transport Association (VTA) has reacted with scorn to former Victorian roads minister Tim Pallas’s opportunistic attack on the state government over high productivity freight vehicles (HPFVs).

In a statement aimed squarely at gaining media attention but which is regarded in industry circles as a betrayal, Pallas accused the state government of a "secret plan" to allow "monster trucks" to gain access to Victorian roads that "could devastate the quality of life of many local communities".

This is the second time in three years that an opposition spokesman has accused the sitting government of having a "secret plan" with regards to the more efficient set-up.

The VTA, furious at the tabloid-style tone employed, has responded by labelling Pallas as ineffectual in "delivering safe and efficient road access for innovative heavy vehicle combinations to boost flagging economic productivity in Victoria".

"We are urging the Baillieu Government not to dither like the previous Government, but to work closely with the road transport industry to deliver much needed on-road productivity reforms that will benefit the State." VTA CEO Philip Lovel says.

"Tim Pallas needs to get down from his soap box and reflect on his failure as the previous Minister to deliver effective government policies and actions that allow industry to meet the State’s growing freight task safely and productively.

"The Baillieu Government has the opportunity to correct the failures of the previous Government, and we are confident that it will do so in collaboration with the industry and the community."

The VTA continues to urge the Victorian Government to move past the "trial" stage and to roll out efficient access for HPFVs based Performance Based Standards approval and related route and road infrastructure assessment.

Pallas, now opposition spokesman on freight and logistics, used a VicRoads presentation at Freight Week on September 6 to accuse Roads Minister Terry Mulder and Ports Minister Dennis Napthine of hypocrisy in their attitudes to HPFVs, given statements made when they were in opposition.

"Under the secret plan, Napthine’s ‘super monster trucks’ will run through Melbourne communities at all hours of the day and night without many of the restrictions put in place by the previous Labor Government," Pallas says.

"The Opposition does not support allowing bigger trucks to travel on our roads during peak periods while commuters are making their way to and from work."

Pallas quoted Mulder as telling the Herald Sun newspaper on November 13, 2008, that the HPFV trial was like a "cancer, slowly spreading their tentacles into every nook and cranny of Melbourne".

"The former Labor Government’s trial balanced the needs of the community with those of the industry by restricting the time when these trucks could travel," Pallas says.

"But it appears the Baillieu Government wants to dump the restrictions and override the community’s needs with the wants of industry."

A response from Mulder’s office is expected.

You can also follow our updates by joining our LinkedIn group or liking us on Facebook