Release date: 29/07/2009

On 29th July 2009, the Hon Bob Carr and more than 50 attendees from major transport companies, clients and Government departments came together to plan a Safe Rates System to respond to the safety crisis plaguing Australia’s road transport industry.

The Summit met amidst a safety crisis in road transport industry that claimed 281 people in 2008. Last year a National Transport Commission report determined that excessive client power and poor pay and conditions for truck drivers were a major cause of the high levels of deaths and injuries on Australian roads.

The report found that a Safe Rates system, which included industry clients and could enforce minimum rates and conditions for employees and owner-drivers, was necessary to begin addressing the epidemic of death and destruction plaguing Australian roads.

Key Summit Speakers included:
  • Senator Mark Arbib – Federal Minister For Employment Participation
  • Professor Michael Quinlan – University of New South Wales
  • Professor Mike Belzer – Wayne State University, Michigan, USA

Other attendees included NSW Minister for Roads, Michael Daley, Senator David Feeney, Senator Glen Sterle, Secretary of the ACTU, Jeff Lawrence, Secretary of Unions NSW, Mark Lennon, CEO of the National Transport Commission, Nick Dimopolous and senior personnel from industry and clients.

TWU National Secretary, Tony Sheldon, said that “evidence was discussed about stimulant abuse in the industry due to client pressure. It is a clear indication that too many industry clients are pressuring transport companies and drivers through the hyper-competitive nature of the industry.”

“The need for a safe rates system is urgent. With over 280 people perishing on our roads, this summit is the start of the reform process so necessary if we are to make our roads safe for all who use them.”


Media Contact: Seth Tenkate 0408 463 199.

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