Family thankful for safety legislation

Release date: 9/12/2011

The Newton family from Western Sydney joined the representatives of the Transport Workers’ Union (TWU) to personally thank Minister Anthony Albanese for his recent decision to introduce legislation to ensure safety on Australian roads for truck drivers and the Australian public.

Big Rigs, Page: 5

Truck driver Steve Newton, his wife Eva and their granddaughter Brianna presented Mr Albanese with a giant Congratulations greeting card at the Labor Party National Conference.

Mr Albanese recently presented the Road Safety Remuneration Bill to Parliament.

National Secretary of the TWU Tony Sheldon said trucking was a dangerous industry "Trucking is Australia’s deadliest industry For far too long, truck drivers, whether they be owner drivers or employee drivers, have had to meet absurd deadlines; work for rates that are too low; and endure hours and hours of unpaid waiting," he said.

"These practices threaten the safety of not just the driver, but all road users." A recent survey carried out by our Union showed that 48 per cent of drivers report almost one day a week in unpaid waiting time; for delivery drivers this increases to more than 10 hours a week. An alarming 56 per cent of owner-drivers have had to forego vehicle maintenance because of economic pressure and 27 per cent of drivers felt they had to drive too fast; and nearly 40 per cent felt pressured to drive longer than legally allowed as a result of client pressure "The government’s decision to introduce this legislation will mean that we will have an independent tribunal which will establish and maintain enforceable rates and related conditions for all truck drivers and create binding obligations, as necessary on transport supply chain participants such as the major industry clients.

This will have a huge effect on the industry and will make it fairer for truck drivers and their families," he said.

Mr Sheldon said it was ultimately families most often a wife and children who were left to pick up the pieces when a truck driver died tragically "Eva and Brianna are coming today to thank Minister Albanese, because they know only too well the worry felt by families when a truck driving family member is at work," he said.

Caption Text:

THANKFUL: Truck driver Steve Newton, his wife Eva and their granddaughter Brianna presented Federal Minister for Transport Anthony Albanese with a giant Congratulations greeting card. (See photo by clicking the link below)

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