Can our future be left to politicians and bureaucrats?

The future viability and continued safety of every Australian will be impacted by how this critical industry sector responds to the very real and serious influences out of our control. If we are to continue to successfully respond to situations totally out of our control, we need to be able to mobilise and shift resources quickly and in a safe and efficient manner.

National disasters such as the recent flooding along the Eastern Coast. The AdBlue crisis which saw Australia being caught with limited supplies of this critical road transport commodity. Australia’s critically important fuel reserves should be a very real concern for every Australian when everything in this country is predominately moved by trucks. 

International issue such as climate change, the impact of Covid and recently Chinese activity in the Pacific and the fact that the Port of Darwin is owned by China.

The Senate inquiry headed up in part by Labor Senator Glenn Sterle into the road transport industry has been released. 

The recommendations from this report fails to fully recognise the basic fundamental problem facing the road transport sector. The basic fundament problem from an owner driver and small fleets prospective I refer to as the three R’s: Recognition, Respect and Remuneration.

Has the time arrived where Australians need to have an independent inquiry into the critical industry sector? Is it time for a Royal Commission into the road transport sector? What would you, as an owner driver or small fleet operator involved in this critically important industry sector, want to see as the Terms of Reference for such an independent National inquiry?

The Terms of Reference for a Royal Commission have been already presented to a greater extent by the Senate Report and should cover these critical components. 

• The viability of owner drivers and small fleet operators. There is no one size fits all solution Australia is a big country with so many real variables.

• The quality of the road infrastructure on a National basis to include adequate rest areas for heavy vehicles. 

• Safety for all road users and education of all drivers especially young drivers and the public generally.

• A national apprenticeship type process for drivers to encourage young people into the industry.

• Identification of critical components of the industry to ensure ongoing national security.

• Identification of critical components for compliance and how these will be enforced, especially fatigue management and chain of responsibility.

Please feel free to add to the list as there are many and we will only get one chance to put it right.

The road transport sector is far too critically important to every man, woman and child in this Great Nation to be left totally in the hands of politicians and bureaucrats. 

As a nation we have spent far too much time shuffling the chairs on the Titanic and as a nation we should not have to sink to get this critical industry sector safer and nationally secure. 

Far smarter have an independent review to actually put this critical industry sector on the right path as a nation to ensure a safe, efficient and viable industry which ensures the long-term future for Australia as a nation. 

  • Graham Cotter is author of Don’t Suck the Pencils

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