LBCA loses Gunning to politics as election looms

Rural transport body loses top executive after only seven months

LBCA loses Gunning to politics as election looms
Robert Gunning councts sein off the RSRT as a highlight.


The Livestock and Bulk Carriers Association (LBCA) will part ways with executive director Robert Gunning as he focuses on the federal election.

Gunning had initially said he would take leave of absence but took the path of full resignation in view of the association policy of political neutrality.

"He has put the interests of the LBCA and its members first," a spokeswoman tells ATN of his move to become the endorsed Liberal candidate for the ACT seat of Fenner unencumbered.

Gunning’ seven months at the helm coincided with a one of the crises of the decade in the industry.

"I have very much enjoyed my time with the Livestock and Bulk Carriers Association, and believe that together we have achieved a great deal, particularly in persuading the Federal Parliament to abolish the Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal, which has to be one of the most oppressive arrangements ever imposed on small rural family trucking businesses," Gunning says.
LBCA president Lynley Miners paid tribute to the "dedication and leadership Gunning provided at the highly successful LBCA Conference held in Bathurst in March at a time when the industry was under enormous strain because of the orders issued by the Tribunal".
"Our small mum and dad operators faced extinction, as simple as that, if the Tribunal’s Orders had not died with the Tribunal. I am proud of the leadership the LBCA took in this matter with Robert guiding us through a period that will stand as a watershed in our history," Lynley notes.
"We knew what a disaster it would be and our small organisation was at the forefront in convincing the Federal Government and the cross bench senators that the Tribunal had to go. 

"We couldn’t have done that without Robert’s policy expertise and acumen."

Had policy stance not stood in the way, Gunning would have been happy to stay.

Last week, he pointed to the common movement of people between associations and the politics, citing former NSW Coalition leader John Brogden and the Financial Services Council, along with Stuart St Clair, who was CEO of the Australian Trucking Association for a number of years and was a former federal Member for New England.

A return to the LBCA if his election tilt fails has not been ruled out.

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