Opinion

Drivers need to get a fair deal

Over the past three and a half years, I have been writing this column, I have covered many topics, mental health and my battle with depression, bureaucracy and the abundance of red tape that the trucking industry deals with every day, and the lack of rest areas and our draconian fatigue rules to name just a few.

I have advocated for one country (uniformity) and not just in transport, one industry where we all pull together for the good of everyone, but while we have made great strides in uniformity with the formation of the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator and the amazing collaboration of their management and staff, we are still not winning on the rest areas and fatigue front.

We’re not coming together or improving the lives of drivers and sub-contractors across the board, and we could not operate the trucking industry or the country without either of these groups.

We have made the industry more inclusive, and the hard work continues as we encourage women and other groups to consider transport and logistics as a career choice through various initiatives for many associations and companies but much more work needs to be done.

We are enjoying taking the industry into schools and encouraging Year 10 to Year 12 students to consider the trucking industry as a career of choice.

Many of my columns talk about mateship and my family and friends have been the mainstay of my life, and during Covid-19, friendship and staying in touch has been more important than ever. With the new lockdowns, we are again staring down the barrel of businesses closing and being isolated from our families for long periods.

For truck drivers, it can be especially isolating as some companies become more rigid in their stance against sharing of facilities, but we need to call this out wherever we can, so our drivers are given a fair deal.

Transport Women Australia Limited has so many functions semi-organised but are holding off making the final arrangements while we watch what happens over the next couple of weeks, especially in NSW. We have fingers crossed for our postponed Driving the Difference Conference to be held in October and our welcoming breakfast at the Road Transport Hall of Fame, ‘Festival of Transport’ in Alice Springs in August.

We are seeking contributions to our annual Father’s Day raffle, encouraging and promoting our Creating Connections Mentoring Programme, we will be announcing the Trish Pickering Memorial Award recipient at the conference, our Driving the Difference scholarships will be released soon and our new research project Women Working in Transport – Part II is soon to be launched. This is a follow-up to the initial research in 2015.

We will be entering several of our members into awards over the next few weeks and if you wish to put your name forward please contact us.

We also have some other surprise announcements to be made at the conference. For any information on any of the above, please contact chair@transportwomen.com.au or 0417422319. 

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