ATA pays tribute to late academic Coper

Former TruckSafe chair passes away after battle with cancer

ATA pays tribute to late academic Coper
Professor Michael Coper


The Australian Trucking Association (ATA) has mourned the loss of Professor Michael Coper AO, former chair of the TruckSafe Industry Accreditation Council and former dean of the Australian National University College of Law.

Coper’s connection to the transport industry began in the mid-1980s when he joined the NSW Road Freight Transport Industry Council as the legal member.

In 1988, he was appointed as the lawyer member of the Inter-State Commission, producing several reports on the efficiency of interstate transport.

One of the council’s recommendations led to the establishment of the National Road Transport Commission (now the National Transport Commission).

In 1996, Coper was appointed chair of the TruckSafe Industry Accreditation Council, "playing a key role in delivering positive outcomes for trucking businesses, helping to manage risk and boost safety", ATA says.

In 2018, Prof Coper was appointed an Officer in the Order of Australia for distinguished service to legal education and transport safety.

Read Coper's 2017 column on the importance of self-regulation to industry safety, here

"The recognition for his distinguished service to transport safety was a nod to his work assisting in the running of an industry self-regulation scheme for truck operators," UNSW dean of law Professor George Williams said at the time.

TruckSafe chair Ferdie Kroon says: "This prestigious honour recognised Michael’s passion to improve the trucking industry in the interest of everyone who makes a living from it and who is served by it. In other words – all Australians.

"We will remember Michael as a great advocate of safety within the transport industry."

ATA chair Geoff Crouch adds: "The ATA, TruckSafe and the industry are deeply saddened by the loss of Michael Coper."


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