Long-time truckie and compliance expert Roxanne Mysko is launching a new lobby group that aims to give a louder voice at the policy table for drivers, owner-drivers and small fleet owners.
Mysko says the United Transport Group (UTG) will tap into all sectors of road transport – from resource sector, machinery, OSOM, livestock, fuel and bulk tankers to timber and logging and general and refrigerated – to bring everyone together under a ‘one stop shop’.
In the UTG’s launch manifesto, Mysko says the group intends to lobby government for better operating conditions, less regulations, reductions in fines and sustainable changes in regulations to provide fairness for operations.
The UTG is also calling for transport laws to apply more accountability and responsibility on consignees and consignors, rather than having the truckie left carrying the can when something goes awry.
“Government and regulators have made the red tape and documentation a massive, onerous task for drivers and transport operators,” says Mysko.
“The driver still appears to be the scapegoat for enforcement, prosecution and responsibility from government.
“When it came out everyone in the chain of responsibility was accountable, but now the truck driver has become the pin cushion. He’s absolutely getting everything. The technology is pushing back on to him, the work diaries and speeding back on to individual operators. The allocation of time slots are sometimes not always realistic. Why can’t you give them 2-3 hours’ leeway. They’re trying to lock them in, it’s like going to the doctor for an appointment.”
Mysko has already recruited three of trucking’s most high-profile social media celebrities for her board; Tony Fulton (Tones Truckin Stories), Glenn ‘Yogi’ Kendall and Big Rigs contributor Mike ‘the oz trucker’ Williams.
“I think truckies have absolutely had a gutsful; speak to any of them. Every single one of them have had a gutsful of the fines and the underlying pushing that’s still going on,” Mysko tells Big Rigs.
“I believe our group can make a difference. With our own board we have 200,000-plus followers on social media, and I’ve already got people at me left right and centre to join before we’d even launched.”
After incorporation and finalising the make-up of the UTG’s expert industry groups, Mysko plans to poll drivers and operators about what their top five issues are and use those to start lobbying the government for change.
With a CV steeped in compliance, enforcement and transport policy, at state and government levels, Adelaide-based Mysko is confident she has enough connections in Canberra to make a difference.
“Two hundred percent,” says Mysko, who started driving road trains at just 14 and today is still feted for running triples from Adelaide to Darwin.
“I’ve worked a lot in government myself and I’ve still got mates inside government and inside the regulators.”
Mysko says the UTG is also open to working with other associations and lobby groups, if it can help bring about positive changes for drivers.
“NatRoad has been in touch and so has the VTA who are both happy to work with us,” she says.
“My message to others is that we’re certainly happy to work with you, if it’s for the good of the whole industry.
“If the TWU, or ATA, SARTA, whoever, is putting something up to put pressure on government to change some of the red tape, or reduce regulations, and came and said, ‘Rox, we’re doing this and this’, and our members could benefit, I’ll sign and endorse to go in and go hard, or I’ll double up with you at the meetings to go hard.”
For more information on how to join – membership starts from just $100 per year – search for United Transport Group on Facebook. A website is also launching soon.