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TWU responds to truckies port access fees

The TWU has backed up a call to change the way port access fees are charged to operators around Australia

The Transport Workers’ Union (TWU) has responded to calls for shipping companies to be hit with port access fees instead of lumping them on truck drivers and businesses.

TWU national secretary Michael Kaine says the change to putting these costs on shipping companies will help make port access easier for truck operators.

“This a positive step towards ending the stevedores monopoly gouging scandal which has gone on for years,” Kaine says.

“Exorbitant fees have imposed major burdens on transport companies and owner drivers already operating on razor-thin margins.

“For more than five years, the TWU, along with companies like ACFS and transport associations, have been calling for wealthy heads in maritime supply chains to pay their fair share rather than pushing transport operators to the brink.”

Kaine says the current system is making the transport industry more dangerous for truck operators.

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He says costs should be alleviated to prevent dangerous situations being created where drivers work harder and risk their safety for small profit margins.

“The proposition of ‘flexible fees’ to create ‘efficient incentives’ undermines safety in Australia’s deadliest industry and should be abandoned,” Kaine says.

“When profits are squeezed, operators and drivers are pressured to delay maintenance, speed, skip rest breaks and drive fatigued. Imposing fees to make transport operators work faster will only result in more deaths on our roads.

“Last week, a transport industry roundtable of workers, clients, employers, industry groups and gig companies called for enforceable standards to ease pressures on the industry. We’re pleased that the federal government acted on this consensus, announcing its intention to empower the Fair Work Commission to set standards in transport.”

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