THE Victorian transport industry was one of the most impacted at a political level by the sacking of powerbroker Adem Somyurek and resignation from cabinet of his factional allies Marlene Kairouz and Robin Scott amid branch stacking allegations.
In a major cabinet reshuffle , Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews moved Jaala Pulford out of roads and road safety, paving the way for Ben Carroll to take over as Minister.
In other transport-related portfolio changes, Jacinta Allan added the new Suburban Rail Loop portfolio to her Transport Infrastructure responsibilities, whilst Melissa Horne added Boats and Fishing to her Ports and Freight portfolios.
VTA CEO Peter Anderson said the association has enjoyed a respectful and productive working relationship with the Victorian Government which has led to the development of roads and road safety policy that generates positive productivity and safety outcomes for members and the Victorian community.
“There are a number of projects underway where we are working with the Victorian Government to improve and streamline processes for operators, such as the current heavy vehicle licensing review the VTA has been tasked with leading, and which we see as critical for attracting Victorians to a career as a heavy vehicle driver, and dramatically improving safety standards across the industry,” Mr Anderson said.
“The Andrews Government has recognised the opportunity to improve safety within our industry and at the same time address the current skills shortages we are facing with its commitment of $4 million over four years to attract 800 new drivers to the industry welcome validation of the partnership approach the VTA has advocated to make our roads and drivers safer.
“Other prominent issues facing our industry include implementation of the Principal Freight Network, curfews and road access, environmental and emissions controls (cleaner freight), regional and rural road infrastructure maintenance and renewal, road user charging and ensuring fairness and equity, tolls, intermodal transport, and the gig economy. We look forward to progressing these issues with Ben and his ministerial colleagues,” Mr Anderson said.
Mr Anderson also thanked Jaala Pulford for her achievements as roads Minister.
“Jaala Pulford set in motion many important infrastructure and road safety initiatives during her time as minister and we acknowledge and thank her for her remarkable efforts, and wish her well in her new ministerial portfolio,” he said.