February 16, 2019

The TWU held a Safe Rates Summit in Canberra this week with a simple demand for our lawmakers – introduce legislation to stop people dying on our roads.

The event was supported by truck drivers, family of crash victims, community and employer groups and academics and advocates to ensure politicians fully understand the range of people angry about these needless deaths.

There is also unanimous support for a system of minimum safe rates across the road transport industry and supply chain accountability to stop these deaths occurring.

Labor Shadow Transport Minister Anthony Albanese spoke at the Summit to reconfirm the ALP’s commitment to ensure safe and minimum standards for road transport if elected.

The trucking industry is in crisis and we need to act now if we want it to have a sustainable future. The statistics are damning:

  • 500 people have now lost their lives in truck crashes and over 1,000 trucking companies have gone bankrupt since the Coalition tore down the road safety watchdog in 2016.
  • A 2019 AMP report found 25% of transport workers continually suffer financial stress. The highest rate of any Australian industry.
  • Trucking is Australia’s deadliest job, with a Monash University study finding drivers 13X more likely to die at work than any other profession, and
  • It also found 80% of truckies work over 50 hours a week and truck driving is also one of Australia’s unhealthiest with over 1 million weeks of working time lost over a 12-year period.

Companies going bankrupt means thousands of transport workers losing their jobs and pressure down supply chains means too many are losing their lives at work.

Truckie and TWU member John Waltis told the media this week that he has personally attended 50 funerals during his time in the industry for mates killed on the job. This is why we must fight.

Higher standards will mean safer roads and more secure and better quality jobs in transport and 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.

We must stick together and fight to boot out the Coalition Government and to Change the Rules so workers no longer bear the full brunt of corporate greed. 

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