Feds need to mandate ESC for dangerous goods trucks: McGowan

By: Brad Gardner

Independent Cathy McGowan urges Federal Government to follow the lead of NSW on mandatory ESC for dangerous goods tankers.


The Australian Trucking Association (ATA) has found a willing ally in its push for a national approach to electronic stability control (ESC) for heavy vehicles.

Independent MP Cathy McGowan wants the Federal Government to introduce national regulations mandating ESC for trucks in a similar move to what will happen in New South Wales.

NSW will require all trucks operating on its roads to be fitted with ESC by 2019. Like the ATA, McGowan believes the provisions should apply nationwide.

"I call on the Government to take note of regulation in NSW and to implement national regulations mandating the use of ESC on all dangerous goods tankers in Australia," McGowan, who holds the seat of Indi, says.

"My constituents want their roads to be safer and to ensure that dangerous goods are delivered without disaster."

McGowan says retrofitting trucks with ESC comes with a price tag of between $5,000 and $10,000, but she has also highlighted the cost of not mandating the technology.

"While there is no doubt that this represents a significant upfront cost for trucking businesses, a single crash of a tanker carrying dangerous goods can cost up to half a million dollars, not to mention the immeasurable cost in lives lost."

McGowan made the comments in Parliament, where she also relayed the story of Jack and Jenny Murray from her electorate.

The Murrays lost their daughter, son-in-law and two grandchildren in 2009 when a Cootes Transport tanker took a bend too fast and collided with the family's car. The truck driver also died at the scene.

"My constituents, Jack and Jenny Murray, have been lobbying hard to get national reform to retrofit tankers with ESC," McGowan says.

"In doing this, we will greatly decrease the chances that families will be subjected to the suffering and loss that the Murrays have faced over the past four years."

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