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Tassie truckie takes up fight for better conditions

Owner operator Craig Williams has unexpectedly become a mover and shaker for the road transport industry in Tasmania, as he lobbies for better conditions for the state’s truckies.

Williams, 54, is based at Tee-Tree between Brighton and Campania and drives a Volvo NH420.

Recently he’s been lobbying the state government, road transport authorities and also contacted radio stations in a bid to improve conditions for Apple Isle truck drivers.

More pull off areas, men’s and women’s health and a wide range of other issues have come under his scrutiny.

In early April Williams contacted radio station Triple M (107.3FM) in Hobart and the station received a great response to his call on talk back.

“There has been extensive roadwork’s down here and because of these we have lost 26 pull off areas which we used to have access to. And truck drivers have been fined for pulling up to use toilets,” he said.

His wife recently had a knee replacement and has required assistance by her beloved during this period.

I phoned Williams to further discuss his concerns and he said that when the NHVR started out in Tasmania several years ago, the Government wanted to make Tasmania equal to the mainland regarding trucking.

“But this has failed in many ways. With the new system and guidelines we were to have rest areas and toilets at regular intervals through Tasmania, and it never happened,” he said.

Williams was penning a letter to State Transport Minister Michael Ferguson, however a snap election was called.

“So I hit the radio station here in Hobart, Triple M 107.3, at 6am on the Brian Carlton segment raising the issue that Tassie truck drivers have no public toilets they can use.

“Several shops/servos are used but it’s not their place to fill the government promise on rest areas and a toilet. After the few minutes I was on radio both male and female truckies went to air on call ups to Brian and several didn’t want to go on air but supported the issue,” he said.

Williams said the following day Tasmanian Truck Owners and Operators Association secretary Julie Wise spoke with Carlton about the issues that he had raised.

Williams said that a working group has government representatives and company bosses employing the very drivers busting for a loo.

“Well that’s not fair on the driver as they have to remain speechless. I know working groups mean well but they simply don’t work – they just take and waste time.

“In three days I, with the help of a top radio personality, have made the issue an election issue and a very public one at that. I’m proud to say I did it for my industry,” he said.

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