David Coonan retires as ATA policy manager

David Coonan has retired from the Australian Trucking Association after eight years as its policy manager.

David Coonan retires as ATA policy manager
Significant contribution: David Coonan was involved in work on national regulations, heavy vehicle charges and high productivity vehicles.


The man who has led the Australian Trucking Association's (ATA) policy division for the last eight years has retired.   

ATA CEO Stuart St Clair today announced David Coonan decided to depart as the association's policy manager after an extended illness.   

Coonan joined the ATA in 2006 after stints in the public service working on heavy vehicle regulation, and St Clair says the former bureaucrat was "a passionate advocate" for trucking operators.   

"David will be greatly missed. On behalf of everyone at the ATA, I wish him better health and all the best for his retirement," St Clair says. 

"David had an expert understanding of government process and regulation, and he was able to back it up with a detailed knowledge about how trucks and engines work.

"For example, he could be heard in the office discussing with regulators the pin voltages on electronic brake connectors, before switching to a teleconference about truck charging."  

St Clair says Coonan’s major achievements while in his role at the ATA included working through the draft of the Heavy Vehicle National Law. 

"The law isn’t perfect, but it’s much better than it would have been if David hadn’t been involved," St Clair says.   

Coonan was also a strong supporter of high productivity vehicles and was heavily involved in pushing for reforms to the heavy vehicle charging system. 

"David was a strong advocate for the industry on heavy vehicle charging. After years of discussion, the ATA finally convinced transport ministers to review the existing charging system," St Clair says.  

"As a result, the NTC concluded that the existing system would overcharge the truck and bus industries by $232 million in 2014-15."  

Coonan began his career as a diesel mechanic and moved into senior transport policy positions in the Australian Capital Territory and federal governments before joining the ATA.

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