Four Corners promises to expose industry scandals

Along with alleged sharp practices by companies, political controversy is likely over fate of RSRT

Four Corners promises to expose industry scandals
Four Corners will to air industry accusations

The ABC’s Four Corners program is pledging an expose cost cutting and maintenance shortfalls in the trucking industry and the failure of chain of responsibility provisions to curb excesses.

And at a time when the ABC has been accused of bias by the Prime Minister, a website preview of tonight’s program takes aim at prospective Federal regulatory policy towards the industry.

"In what seems an open and shut case for greater regulation, the current Federal Government has responded by warning that it may abolish the Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal, a body with the power to regulate the industry and to set sustainable freight rates for truckies," the preview says.

The program will talk to drivers and other "insiders" with a view to takling such controversial industry issues as:

  • Are drivers being paid a fair wage?
  • Are big companies forcing down freight rates unreasonably to improve their bottom line?
  • Are trucking companies and owner-drivers responding to the pressure by cutting corners on maintenance to keep their businesses alive?

"Perhaps the most surprising fact is that governments and companies have been told repeatedly about the shocking state of the trucking industry," the preview says.

"The program hears how insiders who speak out are either ignored or sacked and then frozen out.

"Responding to public outrage, governments have ramped up roadside checks and imposed bigger fines.

"All these measures punish drivers.

"At the same time, the trucking companies and their corporate clients are rarely charged or fined."

It will also quote an industry participant’s view of the industry’s present predicament.

"Why would you come into an industry where you're going to be victimised, this is the problem with the industry," the insider says.

"The good operators are getting out and it's leaving us with cowboys."

The ABC1 program will be broadcast at 8.30pm.



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