Industry plaudits as Coalition government is returned

Realising national freight strategy and promises seen as crucial for re-election success

Industry plaudits as Coalition government is returned
Scott Morrison is back in the driver’s seat


Industry representative bodies have lined up to salute the Liberal/National Coalition post federal election as it inches closer to a majority in the House of Representatives.

While the Coalition is set to fall short of that in the Senate, the transport and logistics sector is looking to a swift return to the business of reform and planning to increase efficiency.


The Australian Logistics Council (ALC) congratulates prime minister Scott Morrison, deputy prime minister Michael McCormack and their Coalition colleagues on their election victory at the weekend.

"This has been a clear election result after a tightly fought contest over recent weeks," ALC CEO Kirk Coningham says.

"It is particularly pleasing that Australia appears set to have a majority government, which will help to provide the certainty that businesses and investors need.

"ALC also acknowledges the election campaign run by the Labor opposition, and thanks them for being prepared to engage positively with our industry over the last parliamentary term.

"During the election campaign, ALC released Freight: Delivering Opportunity for Australia, which sets out 39 priority actions for the incoming federal government that address challenges and opportunities relevant to all modes of freight transport.

"ALC looks forward to working with the re-elected Morrison Government and all members of the 46th Parliament to deal with the issues ALC members have identified as industry priorities.

"The immediate priority is to finalise the National Freight and Supply Chain Strategy, so that Australia can start to realise the very real benefits that will flow to our economy and to local communities as a result of having greater efficiency and safety in our supply chains.

"Given that both major parties spoke about the virtues of taking a long-term approach to infrastructure planning and investment during the campaign, ALC would hope this bipartisan view can become a policy reality in the course of this next term of government.

"We also look forward to working with the government on the establishment of the National Freight Data Hub, as funded in last month’s federal Budget, so that our industry can start to take advantage of the productivity, investment and safety benefits that will flow from having access to better quality data about freight movement."


The Australian Trucking Association (ATA) is another seeking a swift and strong focus on industry improvement.

"The ATA and our member associations look forward to continuing our work with the Government to improve the safety and productivity of the Australian trucking industry," ATA Chair Geoff Crouch said.

"We now urge the Government to turn its focus to taking action on improving road safety, with the ultimate aim of zero fatalities or serious injuries on our roads." 

The ATA notes the Coalition’s Budget and election commitments to road safety, which include: 

  • a $2.2 billion road safety plan that includes the establishment of a new office of road safety, as well as additional funding for the Black Spot program, rest area and local road upgrades, research and development, and bridge upgrades
  • $400,000 for the redesign of the Volvo ATA Safety Truck
  • the development of a nationally consistent approach to new and improved pullover bays, and
  • increased funding to improve the Driver Reviver program. 

"More truck rest areas and improved facilities are urgently needed on Australia’s roads. The ATA also urges the Government to extend the role of the Australian Transport Safety Bureau to help everyone better understand why truck crashes occur and what can be done to prevent them," Crouch says.

"In addition, advanced safety technologies such as autonomous emergency braking must be mandated for new trucks as soon as possible."

 Read the ATA's urgent election plea on rest areas, here

The ATA is also calling for action on the reviews into the Heavy Vehicle National Law (HVNL), national transport regulatory reform and heavy vehicle accreditation.

"We need to see substantial law reform, not just tweaking or promises of future action. We must also ensure the vital safety reforms that came into force in 2018 are preserved," Crouch says.

"These reforms must extend to heavy vehicle accreditation.

"The ATA is advocating for operators accredited under our risk management scheme, TruckSafe, to receive the same regulatory benefits as operators accredited under the National Heavy Vehicle Accreditation Scheme, in accordance with the competitive neutrality policies agreed by the Australian and state governments.

"We also urge the Government to support hardworking small trucking business owners by introducing mandatory 30-day payment terms. This would support the owner-drivers and small fleet operators that keep our country moving."


The Victorian Transport Association (VTA) says it is looking forward to engaging with the federal Coalition on making progress over the coming years.

"The VTA enjoys established and productive relationships with the Liberal National Coalition which are instrumental in our ability to shape transport policy, regulation and legislation that facilitates more productive and efficient supply chains for the betterment of our members and our industry," VTA CEO Peter Anderson says.

"The VTA also acknowledges the election campaign run by the Labor opposition, and thanks them for being prepared to engage positively with our industry over the last parliamentary term.

"It is essential for us to advocate for our members and the transport industry across party lines, and we will continue to work with all sides of politics to get the best outcomes for our members and our industry.

"The VTA looks forward to working with the re-elected Morrison Government and all members of the 46th Parliament to deal with the issues that confront Australia’s freight industry."


NHVR chair Duncan Gay is looking forward to continuing the strong cooperation between the NHVR and the federal government.

"The NHVR had a constructive working relationship with the Federal Government over the past term," Gay says.

"We look forward to continuing this relationship as we work toward increasing heavy vehicle safety and productivity.

"The NHVR looks forward to continuing to administer the federal government's Heavy Vehicle Safety Initiative, and local government asset assessment programs.

"I would particularly like to acknowledge the on-going close co-operation with the Government’s staff and the Department and their support for ongoing heavy vehicle reform."


Meanwhile, as the union movement licked its wounds, the Transport Workers’ Union (TWU) National Council congratulates former national secretary Tony Sheldon on his election at the weekend to the Senate.

TWU national president John Berger, newly elected today, says: "Our union is indebted to Tony for his years of hard work which has made a material difference to the lives of thousands of workers across Australia.

"We will miss him but we know he will continue to serve the country’s working families through his work in the Senate."

Michael Kaine was confirmed as national secretary and Nick McIntosh as assistant national secretary.

"I am delighted at my election to the Senate and look forward to going to Canberra to hold the Government to account for the destruction it has created in the lives of people right across Australia," Sheldon says.

"It is with sadness that I will leave the TWU but it is a united, strong union which has major plans on how to continue reforming transport for the better. This vision will serve the entire country well,"


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