Shaping a stronger future for transport workers is the shared responsibility of the industry and the clients who use the industry.
We must focus on the future, and work together for a safer, fairer day at work for all drivers and operators. We are telling our members that 2021 must be the year when we push for the changes our industry needs.
We are pushing for some decency in our industry, respect for the driver, respect for safety at work and respect for the financial impact heavy vehicle operators face every day.
Sensible road safety decisions need to be made. The TWU in recent weeks visited Dubbo, to take a stand with driver advocate Rod Hannifey and locals to tell the NSW Government that their wasteful decision to spend around $260,000,000 on a bridge that simply moves congestion from one part of Dubbo to another, would be better spent on a bypass.
The city in which three major highways intersect needs a bypass that will create a safer route for heavy vehicles and Dubbo locals. I hope that the NSW Government are listening.
The financial difficulties for truck drivers are on the increase. Contracts are not increasing their rates of pay, but the deep dive by the NSW Government through the RMS and Transport for NSW into your wallet is getting deeper.
We know that small business are struggling from delays in payments, increasing business expenses and Government charges. Families are struggling. We are looking for relief for the small businesses in the transport industry.
Toll road costs, insurance costs, rego costs, permit fees, fuel costs and more are the financial strain that the NSW Government are ignoring when they continue to charge drivers more on the roads to do their job.
Already this year, Sydney has been subjected to another toll road price hike, a whopping 4% rise that will continue to be applied quarterly until 2048. Toll increases on toll roads across Sydney are a burden that will affect transport families across the country at a time they can least afford it.
Adding insult to that catastrophic injury, Transport for NSW (TfNSW) have now said “no” to giving evidence to the Federal Government Inquiry into Road Transport. They have not given a reason.
Truck drivers have a right to have their concerns raised with the organisation that is creating an increasing financial burden for truck drivers. Fines for simple spelling mistakes in logbooks is the classic example of the bullying faced by drivers from the NSW Government.
The arrogant disregard towards safety is another problem TfNSW refuse to face.
The West Australian Government recently announced $14 million is being invested into a program that will deliver rest area upgrades for heavy vehicle drivers across regional WA and in the meantime, the NSW Government has nothing.
Now is the time more than ever to stand united and make the changes necessary, if you have had enough, help us create a strong united voice for our industry. We welcome you joining us in the fight.
- Richard Olsen is the TWU NSW State Secretary.