Over 1,000 trucking companies have gone bankrupt since the Coalition tore the road safety watchdog in 2016.
Companies going bankrupt means thousands of transport workers losing their jobs and a 2019 AMP report found 25% of transport workers continually suffer financial stress. The highest rate of any Australian industry.
Trucking is also Australia’s deadliest job, with drivers 13 times more likely to die at work than any other profession.
Since the watchdog was torn down, almost 500 people have lost their lives in truck crashes.
The job is also one of Australia’s unhealthiest with over 1 million weeks of working time lost over a 12-year period.
We need legislation that guarantees safe minimum rates and conditions if we want an industry that’s sustainable into the future.
TWU (Vic/Tas Branch) Secretary and National Vice-President John Berger called for immediate action and said the union had fought a long campaign for Safe Rates and only a system of safe standards applied across transport supply chains would improve the crisis.
“Higher standards will mean safer roads and more secure and better quality jobs in transport. Transport is Australia’s deadliest job with drivers bearing the full brunt of downward pressure in the supply chain,” John said.
“Higher standards will ensure more is being done at every level to help ensure our members arrive home safely to their families at the end of every shift.”
The trucking industry is on its knees and drivers are being pushed to work long hours, speed and skip rest breaks and this means vital maintenance on trucking fleets is delayed.
Since May 2016, ASIC data shows 1,026 businesses in transport, warehousing and postal have become insolvent.
A Department of Infrastructure report found: “Heavy trucks are disproportionately involved in casualty crashes: approximately 16 per cent of road crash fatalities and 4 per cent of injuries involve these vehicles.”
A Macquarie University study has criticised a “critical gap” in regulation and shown that:
- over 80% of truck drivers work more than 50 hours a week; 10% work over 80 hours
- one in six drivers who own their own trucks do not believe they can refuse an unsafe load
- almost one in five owner drivers said they would not report being pressured to falsify a work diary; 42% of owner drivers said the reason drivers do not report safety breaches was because of a fear of losing their jobs
A series of studies by Monash University has shown that:
- Trucking is Australia’s deadliest job, with drivers 13 times more likely to die at work than any other profession. The job is also one of Australia’s unhealthiest with over 1 million weeks of working time lost over a 12-year period.