ATA appoints long-time transport executive as CEO


Former National Transport Commission chair Michael Deegan is the new CEO of the Australian Trucking Association.

Deegan takes over from Andrew McKellar who left his post on August 6 after less than six months in the role.

In a media statement released today, the ATA said Deegan has been involved in road freight transport policy for more than 20 years.

His previous senior roles include chair of the National Transport Commission, national infrastructure coordinator at Infrastructure Australia and CEO of the South Australian Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure.

The latter $420,000 per year role came to an abrupt end when Deegan was among four high-paid state government executives sacked by Premier Steven Marshall in a $2 million clean-out shortly after the state election in 2018.

The former SA transport boss later received a public reprimand from the SA Ombudsman for committing “misconduct in public administration” by ruling on a Freedom of Information request into his own taxpayer-funded expenses.

Deegan strongly denied the allegations.

More recently Deegan was chief executive of the Inner West Council in Sydney, a post he resigned from in October last year amid a breakdown in a relationship with elected officials, reports The Sydney Morning Herald.

The ATA said Deegan’s involvement with trucking began while working in the mines driving heavy vehicles and has evolved to include an instrumental role in the establishment of PBS and vast experience with heavy vehicle charging policy.

Deegan was honoured in 2018 with the South Australian Road Transport Association’s Outstanding Achievement Award, pictured here with SARTA’s Steve Shearer and Sharon Middleton.

“Michael is an expert at developing and implementing visionary strategies, responsible for Australia’s first national transport plan and first national freight strategy,” ATA chair David Smith said.

“The ATA board believes Michael is the leader we need to push ahead with the extensive work the ATA and its members have done on our strategic plan.”

As CEO, Smith said Deegan will work with ATA members to refine and implement the plan, as well as improving member engagement and leading strategic lobbying activities.

“Michael will lead and implement our strategic direction and the projects we deliver, from the ATA’s role in the industry’s COVID-19 response through to infrastructure and productivity priorities,” Smith said.

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