NatRoad marks appreciation of trucking excellence

Awards come as McCormack gives insight on his freight industry view

NatRoad marks appreciation of trucking excellence
Michael McCormack


The annual NatRoad awards, aimed at recognising and rewarding those in the road transport industry for their ongoing commitment to safety, developing skills and an overall professional approach, were presented at a weekend conference that federal infrastructure and transport minister Michael McCormack addressed.

"Receiving one of these awards is more than just a pat on the back for a job well done, it is recognition for surpassing expectations and setting high standards on important matters like safety," NatRoad CEO Warren Clark says of the NTI-sponsored accolades.

"The NatRoad award is a reflection of their hard work and ongoing commitment, both as individuals and as a business, to contribute positively to the Australian road transport industry."

Ted Pickering Award

The Ted Pickering Memorial Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Australian Road Freight Industry was presented to Jim Pearson, MD at Jim Pearson Transport.

Pearson has more than 40 years’ experience in the transport industry and extensive operational expertise in all aspect of the business and his company was winner of the 2015 ATA TruckSafe John Kelly Memorial Award.

NatRoad points out that he goes to extraordinary lengths to ensure that his sites, equipment and vehicles are compliant with safety regulations. He works with the community to educate them on the importance of safety and is actively involved in rescue operations.

"Jim leads by example," Clark says.

"His consistent, intuitive effort to strive for excellence in safety, and to provide sincere customer service has made him a professional whom others aspire to emulate.

"The Australian trucking industry relies on operators like Jim Pearson who put safety first. Jim’s unfailing commitment to safety in the workplace and dedication to the industry is highly commendable."

Professional Driver of The Year

Dave Wilson from DJ Cool Freight, takes home the 2018 Professional Driver of The Year Award. Each year, nominees applying for consideration under this award’s guidelines are evaluated based on their driving skill, commitment to safe driving practices, customer service and contribution to the industry.

"Dave has left his mark on the trucking industry as a professional driver with over 20 years of total driving experience," Clark says.

"He has distinguished himself as an advocate for the industry by taking the initiative to educate and encourage the younger generation to consider a career in trucking."

Youth Employee Award

The Youth Employee Award recognises the "above and beyond" work practices and work ethics demonstrated by a young employee (30 years and under) working in any part of the road transport industry.

This year it went to Angela Bawden from SRV Freight. In her role as compliance and fleet officer at SRV Freight, Bawden has demonstrated exceptional dedication and passion for the road transport industry, NatRoad says.

Read how round six of the HVSPP panned out, here

Meanwhile, along with round six of the Heavy Vehicle Safety and Productivity Program (HVSPP), McCormack makes plain his attitude to certain issues close to freight transport’s heart.

"You all know that the best way to move our freight efficiently and safely is through better roads, wider bridges, and more rest areas for heavy vehicles as well," he says.

On HVSPP project selection, ATN understands that consistent with previous rounds, projects were selected as part of a competitive merit-based process.

There were no notional splits between jurisdictions or between project types, apart from McCormack’s request for additional information on projects with a safety focus.

ATN unerstands the split of funding between and within jurisdictions simply reflects the outcome of the competitive assessment process undertaken by the department.

The funding criteria the department uses to identify the location of particular rest stops and how they relate to transport operations and anti-fatigue laws remains unclear.

More broadly, McCormack justified the nation’s huge infrastructure spend on economic grounds.

"Our government … is investing $75 billion in infrastructure and we're committed to making sure that that pipeline of investment continues over the next decade through those programs I mentioned, but also a billion-dollar urban congestion fund, which will invest in projects to overcome those last mile constraints that so beset our economy, so constrained our ports, our airports, and our intermodal facilities," he says.

On the regulatory front, he pledges to ensure its burden falls lightly on the industry’s back.

"You can have the best infrastructure and the safest vehicles, but unless the regulations that surround their use is manageable, practicable, navigable; well, their effectiveness is diminished and Warren mentioned that in his opening remarks about the fact that we do need good legislation, we do need regulations that don’t impede what you do as a sector."


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