Road safety on the table

Release date: 4/04/2012

Hawkesbury roads could be safer for both truck drivers and other motorists as the new federal Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal (RSRT) gets into gear.

Hawkesbury Gazette

Susan Templeman, Labor's spokesperson for Macquarie, celebrated the passage of new laws that allow the the RSRT to set pay and payrelated conditions for truck drivers, with Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, Minister for Transport and Infrastructure, Anthony Albanese, Transport Workers Union National Secretary Tony Sheldon, and union members outside Parliament House in Canberra.

"I told the Prime Minister that trucks have a huge impact on roads in the Hawkesbury like Bells Line of Road and Old Northern Road," Ms Templeman said.

"I thanked her for supporting the legislation, and told her that we are particularly vulnerable to the pressure truck drivers can be under as they negotiate our main roads every day.

"I reminded the Prime Minister that the Hawkesbury has roads used by trucks that run right through the heart of many towns.

"Given that even our kids have little choice but to learn to drive on the Great Western Highway, safety is a critical issue, and truck drivers should not have to speed, overload their trucks or drive excessive hours just to make a decent living.

"Now truckles will finally have a place to go when they are not getting treated fairly by clients or by trucking companies, and their families and friends will hopefully sleep easier.

"This new approach will affect not only truck drivers, but everyone who uses the roads, and it is extremely disappointing that Liberal MP Louise Markus refused to vote in favour of these safety changes."

Figures show that the truck driving sector has the highest rate of fatalities for any national industry, with 25 deaths per 100,000 workers in 2008-09 alone.

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