Done arguing from outside, Schmidt enters political fray


Trucking identity Liz Schmidt eyes changes to fatigue laws as part of campaign to nab a seat in Queensland’s parliament

Done arguing from outside, Schmidt enters political fray
Done arguing from outside, Schmidt enters political fray
By Brad Gardner | December 6, 2011

Industry identity Liz Schmidt has entered the political fray in an attempt to improve the lot of trucking from inside the tent.

The former president of the Queensland Livestock Transporters Association has joined the LNP as its candidate for the North Queensland seat of Dalrymple. Queenslanders are due to go to the polls next year.

Schmidt, who has run Schmidts Livestock Transport with her husband for more than 30 years, is eyeing changes to heavy vehicle fatigue laws if she manages to unseat incumbent and LNP defector Shane Knuth.

"Fatigue management programs, while well and good, need to be based on sound on-road facts, not what comes out of the university degrees. Our people need to be heard," she says.

"We should stop flogging them around the head with penalty points, and giving them incentives rather than punishment."

Schmidt says drivers should be recognised for good behaviour instead of being targeted with work diary infringements that are "entirely inflexible, certainly from a livestock point of view".

Based in Townsville, the trucking veteran hopes gaining a foothold inside the LNP will make it easier to raise the issues affecting the industry and communities.

"It has to be understood that it doesn’t matter what industry you’re in or where you live or what you do there is not a thing in this world that isn’t reliant on transport of some kind," she says.

"I thought it was time I put my hand up and tried the big thing from the inside rather than 30 years of beating my head on the brick wall from the outside."

The Australian Livestock and Rural Transporters Association (ALRTA) congratulated Schmidt on her decision to run, with President John Beer labelling her a strong leader who has worked tirelessly on the industry’s behalf.

"If elected, we know that Liz would make a great contribution to the Queensland Parliament and would serve the electorate with the same passion, energy and effectiveness that we’ve valued so highly," Beer says.

Schmidt stepped down as a national councillor of the ALRTA to run for Dalrymple and has listed aged care, health and education as other key planks of her agenda.

She is critical of a lack of cancer-treatment devices in the north, saying she had to stump up the cash to send one of her children to Brisbane for treatment for melanoma.

Although adding that she was in a position to cover the cost, Schmidt questions what would happen to those unable to afford it.

She says North Queensland families are still reeling from February’s cyclone Yasi, with homes still without roofs and people living in tents.

"There’s not enough recognition of what’s happening out here in the bush," Schmidt says.

"My intention’s actually to be there and try and make a difference to the people, not only of my electorate but people in Queensland and try to get this right."

The LNP endorsed Schmidt in November to replace Knuth, who jumped ship to Bob Katter’s Australian Party.

The former president of the National Road Freighters Association and a key organiser of this year’s convoy of no confidence, Mick Pattel, is also running for the LNP in the seat of Mount Isa.




Bookmark and Share





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