The Tassie transport industry has been celebrated by the Tasmanian Transport Association (TTA), which held its Gala Dinner and Awards Night over the weekend.
Along with recognising the outstanding achievements of those recognised at the awards, the event was also a celebration of the association’s 60th anniversary.
Chairman of the TTA John de Bruyn and the board of directors welcomed 200 guests on Saturday evening at Wrest Point, Hobart.
The 2021 Tasmanian Transport Industry Achievement Awards were a highlight of the evening, with TTA chairman John de Bruyn congratulating nominees and award recipients. “We congratulate those businesses and individuals who were recognised this evening for their outstanding contribution and commitment to the Tasmanian transport industry,” he said.
Kerry Hingston received the NTI Industry Achievement Award. “Kerry has contributed to the industry over his lifetime since starting work at age 16 at the Golden Fleece terminal, before taking on the family transport business with wife Louise, growing it through innovation and customer service to the business it is today, now managed by sons Nick and Marcus,” said Shane Fairhall of NTI. Hingston is also a long term member of the TTA and the Livestock Transporters Association of Tasmania.
Andrew Sutcliffe’s impeccable safety record and commitment to professionalism was recognised through receiving the NTI 2021 Professional Driver of the Year Award. Sutcliffe has worked with SeaRoad for 16 years and drives a company B-double between Devonport and Hobart, with occasional relief shifts in one of the A-doubles on the route. His nomination was resoundingly supported by strong references from customers, attesting to his high standards of service.
SRT Logistics was recognised for a range of initiatives designed to increase diversity and inclusion within their business. The business employs a significant number of new arrivals to Australia and has introduced a range of cultural diversity initiatives in the workplace including training by the Equal Opportunity Commissioner. The award was accepted for SRT Logistics by Rob Miller and presented by Steven Dietrich of TasRail.
The Gallagher 2021 Transport Industry Young Achiever Award was taken out by Tyler Killingback, an outstanding third year apprentice at Hazell Bros in Hobart. “Tyler’s enthusiasm, can-do attitude and dedication to his studies, his employer and the industry, particularly to a mechanical trade, where we have a significant skills shortage, makes him highly worthy of this recognition,” said Dan Quintin of Gallagher, the Award Sponsor.
Though it’s been 60 years since the formal registration of the Tasmanian Road Transport Association, its roots go back to 1923 with the establishment of the Motor Carriers Association.
In 1995, the TRTA was reformed to reflect the critical nature of all modes of freight transport to Tasmania – road, rail, sea and air – and, under the Chairmanship of Bob Thorpe OAM, became the Tasmanian Transport Association.
Guests were treated to a unique experience with the Titans of Transport Conversation; as industry legends Barry Palmer, Robin Holyman and Chas Kelly took to the stage and recounted stories from their extensive transport heritage. Bob Thorpe, OAM, provided the closing address.
Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, Hon Michael Ferguson MP, congratulated the industry for its dedication and professionalism during the pandemic, acknowledging the extremely trying circumstances under which the industry maintained secure supply chains for Tasmania and Tasmanian businesses, with an outstanding record of achievement.
Ferguson recognised the work of the TTA in producing a workforce plan and developing a model program to respond to the driver shortage in the road transport sector of the industry. The HVDL Plus program developed by the Association is an industry-led workforce development program designed to provide the wrap around skill set needed in a safe and professional heavy vehicle driver, beyond the driving licence.
He also announced a grant of $80,000 for the TTA to pilot the program and prepare 30 new heavy vehicle drivers for the industry. This follows the support provided for the Tasmanian Heavy Vehicle Driver Rest Area Strategy announced last year.
CEO of the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator, Sal Petroccitto also commended the work of the TTA, particularly with the TTA’s Covid-19 Industry Response Guide and assistance model.
Delegates of the Australian Livestock and Rural Transporters Association / Livestock Transporters Association of Tasmania joint national conference, held at Wrest Point (and livestreamed), were also in attendance.