ATA and NHVR take hard line on racist antagonism

Evidence emerges of some inciting acts against Indian drivers, including cutting truck air lines

ATA and NHVR take hard line on racist antagonism
Smith questions the point of racism in industry - or anywhere else


Increasing evidence of what amounts to incement to murder immigrant truck drivers has spurred a backlash from the industry peak body and government.

The racist calls attacking mostly truck drivers of Indian background urge the cutting truck air lines, an act that would put other truck drivers along with road users generally in mortal danger if acted upon. 

These horrifying elements of the trucking industry prompt the Australian Trucking Association (ATA) and the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator to call out racism wherever it occurs and celebrate industry’s diversity. 

The ATA and the NHVR made the call following reports of targeted attacks on immigrant truck drivers and racist comments on trucking social media pages.  

ATA chair David Smith says freight workers from diverse backgrounds had always made a massive contribution to Australia. 

"The cameleers of the 1800s, the workers on the Snowy after the war and the drivers from all over the world delivering food and essential medicine during this pandemic: they all deserve our respect, and all of today’s drivers deserve a fair go," Smith says.  

"The ATA is aware that some multicultural drivers are being harassed, in particular those of Indian descent.

"Racists on social media are egging each other on to ever more extreme actions, including cutting truck air lines. 

"We all have a responsibility for calling out racism wherever it occurs, and that’s exactly what this is. Racism.

"It is ignorant.

"It is stupid.

"And it is dangerous." 

Smith pays tribute to multicultural drivers who are putting up courageously with unacceptable and disgusting harassment every day.

"As people in the trucking industry, we must all combat racism and stand up for fairness and safety," he says. 

NHVR CEO Sal Petroccitto adds his voice to the matter and says it is important for everyone in the heavy vehicle industry to continue to support and respect each other. 

"This year in particular, we’ve seen drivers, members of the supply chain, service centres and authorised officers work together through the challenges of the bushfires and Covid-19 pandemic," Petroccitto says. 

"That mateship and respect is important, now more than ever, to ensure we can continue to safely deliver essential goods and services across the country. 

"Anyone who has concerns about safety in their workplace should report it through our Heavy Vehicle Confidential Reporting Line on 1800 931 785." 

Smith says the ATA and its members had long recognised the value of diversity and multiculturalism within the industry, most recently with the Driving Change Diversity Program.  

"Through our Driving Change Diversity Program, we seek to promote the existing diversity within our industry, and encourage an even more diverse workforce," he adds.  

"It also promotes inclusion and encourages acceptance of all people no matter their race, religion or cultural beliefs."


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