Following a horror week on the roads for truck drivers, the TWU held national convoys on the weekend in major Australian cities
The Transport Workers’ Union (TWU) has held its annual national truck convoy as it continues to urge the passing of transport reform.
On the weekend, hundreds of transport workers, employers and industry groups participated in the convoys that urged the passing of transport reform as truck crash deaths for 2023 surge to 209, including 47 truck drivers, while transport business insolvencies hit a five-year high.
The convoy followed a horror week for truck drivers, with three killed in two days while four other people died in truck crashes.
The national transport convoys took place in major capital cities across Australia, with the TWU outraged that the reform vote was delayed to next year by a motion from federal shadow industrial relations minister Michaelia Cash.
TWU national secretary Michael Kaine says the horror week showed how urgent it is for the federal parliament to pass transport reform.
“The industry is in mourning. National convoys for reform remind federal parliament that the entire industry is backing legislation to set enforceable minimum standards in transport,” Kaine says.
“Transport businesses are also collapsing at rising rates. In the three months from August to October, 166 transport insolvencies were reported – a 44 per cent increase on the same period last year. The industry is in freefall. It needs the safety net of standards.
“The sooner this reform is passed, the sooner the industry will have the mandate to begin work putting fairer, safer and more sustainable standards in place.”
The convoys occurred in Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth, Darwin and from Sydney to Canberra.
The industry came together to urge federal parliament to announce its support of the Closing the Loopholes bill so that work can urgently commence to establish fair, safe and sustainable standards in transport.
The convoy involved transport employees, owner drivers and gig workers, transport associations ARTIO, NatRoad, and NRFA, and transport operators including Global Express, Toll, Linfox, Bevchain, ACFS and FBT Transwest.
“With all major gig companies on board, the entire transport industry has backed this reform. We need Federal Parliament to do the same so we can save lives on our roads,” Kaine says.
“Transport is an essential industry but is at breaking point. We are seeing more and more transport businesses close up shop because they can’t sustain their costs in this environment,” NatRoad CEO Warren Clark says.
“We need broad and meaningful change to make transport more viable. This legislation has our support along with countless others spanning the entire industry.”