The CEO of Women in Trucking Australia Lyndal Denny has weighed in on current road transport work stoppages and whispers of truck blockades.
Denny said reports indicate that the Fair Work Commission is reviewing new applications which – if successful – would open the door for as many as 15,000 truck drivers to walk off the job in the coming weeks.
An estimated 7000 Toll workers went on a 24-hour strike today.
“At worst, this number [15,000] represents just six per cent of the nation’s heavy vehicle driver workforce, so media reports of this action having the potential to shut down food and fuel supply chains is nothing short of alarmist,” Denny said.
The second ‘call to action’ is a little more obscure, says Denny.
The face of this social media campaign is an unknown individual assuring viewers that “vets and truckies” are going to “pull the country down and remove the “shit government” with a national blockade on Tuesday, August 31 at 9am. The initiative appears to encompass a number of conspiracy theories, Denny said.
“An impromptu survey on the WiTA Facebook page clearly shows drivers aren’t planning to park up on the 31st,” Denny said.
“Certainly, truckies continue to face a number of issues during the course of their workday – particularly at border checkpoints.
“One of our members running Qld/Victoria return trips says she requires six border passes and three different sets of state requirements, however the general consensus is that border authorities are doing a great job in challenging circumstances with truckies moving freely across the NSW/Qld border as long as they have the correct paperwork – including evidence of negative covid results.
“Some have reported authorities putting trucks to the fronts of queues.”
In terms of a blockade, Denny reminds the public that trucking companies aren’t going to allocate trucks to company drivers to participate in blockades and owner-drivers aren’t about to upset their customers and risk losing their contracts and livelihoods by parking up.
Drivers are critically aware also of legislation enacted after the Razorback blockades of the late 1970s giving authorities the power to tow vehicles.
Denny says she was disappointed to hear Senator Pauline Hanson on Sky News during a recent discussion with MP Joel Fitzgibbon inform viewers that “they’ve stopped trucks coming over the border (into Queensland) without having a vaccination.”
“This type of sensationalist misinformation – particularly from a Federal Senator is reprehensible,” Denny said.
“I draw Senator Hanson’s attention to the Queensland Health website – specifically the Operational Protocol for Freight Movements entering Queensland.
“Panicking people already under a great deal of stress through the use of alarmist, sensationalist reporting with scant regard to the facts is at best deplorable.”