'Photocopied' work diaries as Qld runs out

Queensland truckies work without work diaries or use photocopied pages as State runs out of copies

'Photocopied' work diaries as Qld runs out
'Photocopied' work diaries as Qld runs out
By Brad Gardner

Queensland truck drivers are working without new work diaries or using photocopied pages because of a statewide shortage.

Drivers are waiting up to seven days for a new work diary, with Minister for Transport John Mickel saying an increase in production is still struggling to meet demand.

He claims this is partly due to drivers attempting to obtain a diary all at once rather than using the three-month transition period offered when fatigue management laws were introduced in September last year.

But Opposition spokeswoman on main roads and transport Fiona Simpson says instead of the issue being resolved, more and more truck drivers cannot get a work diary.

Simpson says some drivers are visiting multiple police stations, transport departments and customer service centres only to be given photocopies.

"This is a ridiculous state of affairs. The Labor Government has introduced a new logbook making it mandatory for every truck driver to use by December 29 2008 and then failed to provide enough books to go around," Simpson says.

"The whole thing has been bungled by the transport department. The department is not on top of it."

But Mickel says a photocopy is a legal document and is valid for a week to give the department time to issue a work diary.

"What she [Simpson] fails to understand is that use of these photocopied pages is acceptable for up to seven days, by which time supplies of the new work diary will have been replenished to any outlet that has run out of stock and re-ordered," he syas.

However, Simpson claims annoyed truck drivers are contacting her on a daily basis saying they are trying to comply with new regulations but are being let down by government bureaucrats.

She has accused the Government of failing to provide necessary support for drivers and says the work diary shortage stretches from Brisbane to the northern part of the State.

"Truck drivers are trying to do the right thing by getting their new logbook before starting work this year, but Labor’s stuff-up is forcing these drivers to break the law by driving without the diary," Simpson says.

However, the Queensland Trucking Association (QTA) says Queensland Transport is not to blame for the shortages.

Jan Pattison says suppliers did not send enough copies to areas such as Gatton and the Lockyer Valley, forcing drivers to travel to Toowoomba or Ipswich to get a work diary.

The QTA held a series of meetings late last year with Queensland Transport and was told the department was aware of the issue and more copies were being sent to areas experiencing shortages.

The Government claims up to 2200 diaries are being produced each week, adding to the more than 20,000 copies already produced and distributed.

Pattison says drivers who also work interstate can get a work diary from other road authorities because the format is the same across borders.

Pattison says while the QTA is aware of work diary shortages it has not experienced a lot of feedback from its membership. She says there was one issue in Mackay, but was resolved the next day.

The necessary page from the work diary can be obtained from Queensland Transport customer services centres and QGAP offices in regional locations or downloaded from the National Transport Commission (NTC) and Queensland Transport websites.

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