Road Safety Tribunal Demise Seems Costly
Release date: 13/12/2016
AFR Letters to the Editor, by TWU National Secretary Tony Sheldon, 11 December 2016
This week we passed the 100th death in truck crashes since the federal government tore down the Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal in April, which was providing a solution to the carnage. Our thoughts are with the families, friends and communities that have been left devastated. Malcolm Turnbull was well aware what the effect of abolishing the tribunal would be: his own report released this year on the tribunal shows the orders it made would cut truck crashes by 28 per cent. Quite simply, this tribunal was saving lives. It was investigating the pressures on truck drivers to speed, drive long hours, skip mandatory rest breaks and overload their vehicles.
Importantly, it was holding wealthy retailers, manufacturers, banks and ports to account, ensuring that their transport contract costs allowed their goods to be delivered safely.
The Transport Minister, Darren Chester, this week announced he would spend more than $800,000 on a truck driver fatigue research project, despite helping to tear down the tribunal fixing this problem.
Could this be an expensive admission by this government that they got it wrong?
Tony Sheldon, national secretary, Transport Workers' Union
All Media Items