Industry combines for life saving truck reform

Industry bodies say the transport industry needs to continue striving for an independent sector body

Industry combines for life saving truck reform
The transport industry wants the new government to focus on truck safety

Major transport industry groups are welcoming the new federal government and calling on the sector to participate constructively in a new trucking reform committed to under the Labor party’s platform.

The new federal government pledges to act on Senate recommendations tabled last year that called for an independent body to set universal binding standards on the transport industry, all in the name of making the sector safer and fairer for drivers.

The Senate recommendations acted on evidence from 150 witnesses and 128 submissions covering the trucking industry over a two-year inquiry.

Six years ago the coalition government deregulated the road safety body and put nothing in its place, with industry bodies like the Transport Workers’ Union (TWU) calling for the independent watchdog to be reinstated.

"A Labor federal government is a welcome change after the coalition’s refusal to address deadly pressures in trucking," TWU national secretary Michael Kaine says.

"Industry-wide standards will remove the Amazon effect smashing supply chains. Right across the industry there is a common interest in the security of enforceable standards to protect jobs, businesses and lives against exploitation and unfair competition through gig-style loopholes.

"It is critical an independent body is established urgently and with the support of industry participation to set enforceable standards in an effective and sustainable way."

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The TWU, along with the Australian Road Transport Industrial Organisation (ARTIO) and National Road Freighters Association (NFA), wants the industry to work together to ensure the new regulatory body is implemented in the right way so that it is sustainable and equipped to tackle industry concerns.

If it can occur, the industry says it could usher in welcome relief for workers and operators.

ARTIO secretary Peter Anderson says: "Finally reform is on the way. If we all work together and contribute constructively to the formation of an independent body, then we will all benefit from the protection of universal standards."

NRFA president Rod Hannifey says: "We need the same unity showed in the Senate inquiry with all stakeholders playing an active role in shaping reform."

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