December 17, 2018

The TWU has welcomed the Australian Labor Party’s commitment to tackling the safety crisis in the trucking industry.

TWU (Vic/Tas Branch) Secretary and National Vice-President John Berger said the news was a relief for the industry after 469 people had been killed in truck crashes following the Coalition’s dismantling of a road safety watchdog in 2016.

The TWU have fought long and hard for government to recognise the crisis in the trucking industry.

The commitment – made at the National ALP Conference – to improving road safety will see the party engage with the TWU and key industry players in developing a system of safe standards which will apply to all parties in the transport supply chain and raise standards across the industry.

“Higher standards will mean safer roads and more secure and better quality jobs in transport. Transport is the deadliest occupation in Australia and drivers are bearing the full brunt of downward pressure in the supply chain,” he said.

“Raised standards will also ensure the single most important thing to us as a union – that more is being done to ensure our members arrive home safely to their families at the end of every shift.”

In August a Monash University study confirmed again that trucking is Australia’s deadliest job, with drivers 13 times more likely to die at work than any other profession.

TWU National Secretary Michael Kaine said it was an important day for the industry as Labor had ensured transport would become safer and fairer if elected.

“The industry is on its knees and there is constant financial pressure on transport operators and drivers,” Michael said.

“This sees drivers pushed to work long hours, speed and skip rest breaks and it means vital maintenance on trucking fleets is delayed.

“This is why transport is Australia’s deadliest industry and why there are such high numbers of deaths and injuries in truck crashes.

“Today the transport industry has a brighter future, with a plan for sustainable businesses, quality jobs and safer roads.”

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