Truck drivers to unite in national convoys this weekend amid push for reform

With truck crash deaths surging past 200 this year and transport business insolvencies hitting a five-year high, truck convoys will take place around the country on Saturday November 25, as transport workers push for reform.

Between January and October 2023, according to ASIC statistics, 355 transport businesses have become insolvent; and 202 people have died in truck crashes, including 44 truck drivers.

Convoys will converge in Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth, Darwin, and from Sydney to Parliament House in Canberra.

The aim of the convoys is to urge Federal Parliament to announce its support of the Closing the Loopholes bill so work can commence to establish fairer, safer and more sustainable standards in transport.

“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,” said NatRoad CEO Warren Clark.

“We need broad and meaningful change to make transport more viable. This legislation has our support along with countless others spanning the entire industry.”

The convoys follow Shadow Minister for Industrial Relations Michaelia Cash’s recent motion to force a three-month delay to the senate report and vote on the bill.

Analysis of ABS data by the ACTU found that the three-month delay of the bill would see gig workers lose up to $110 million in pay.

“This reform is urgent. For decades, the industry has disagreed on many matters, but on this, we are united. There is no reason to delay legislation that will save lives and businesses,” added NRFA Vice President Glyn Castanelli.

“Owner drivers are doing it tough in the cost-of-living crisis with operating costs through the roof and pressures increasing. We urgently need standards to support cost recovery and safe working conditions. We’re all on board for this legislative lifeline. It’s time to get this done.”

The convoy will involve 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.

Two weeks ago, transport gig companies Uber, DoorDash and Menulog also renewed their support for standard-setting reform at the Senate Inquiry into the Bill.

ARTIO Secretary Peter Anderson added, “Transport has become progressively more dangerous and more volatile. Supply chains are adversely challenged without the protection of standards to ensure fair, healthy competition and safeguards against the threat of the imposing gig economy.

“The industry is united for this reform. We can’t wait any longer. Legislation passing Parliament will give us the mandate to introduce standards to improve fairness, safety and productivity.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Send this to a friend