Safer Roads for all Australians - 20 Years in Making

Release date: 21/03/2012

The resounding vote in support of the Road Safety Remuneration Bill in the Senate yesterday means that all Australians can look forward to safer roads and truck drivers can look forward to decent pay and conditions. That’s according to Tony Sheldon, National Secretary of the Transport Workers Union (TWU). 

Tony spoke today, March 21st, from Federal Parliament in Canberra where he joined families and truck drivers from across Australia thanking the Government for supporting the Road Safety Remuneration Bill; “All Australians can reflect today that their Parliament has made a historic decision, which will make the roads that millions travel each day safer. The resounding vote late last night in the Senate in support of the Road Safety Remuneration Bill, together with the vote earlier this week in the House of Representatives, ensures that we can begin to substantially reduce the death and destruction on our roads by taking the pressure out of the truck cab.”


“A campaign that has been building for almost 20 years can finally celebrate this landmark legislation that will make the roads that all Australians travel on safer, ensure fairer pay and conditions for truckies and finally begin to hold major retailers like Coles to account for the safe transportation of their goods. We have campaigned side by side with truckies, transport companies, committed politicians, families of people who were killed or injured in truck accidents and communities across Australia for this legislation.”


“This legislation will help to take the pressure off trucking families, including Stella Minos, who worries every day about the pressures placed on her husband Michael. This legislation is for people like Lystra Tagliaferri, Suzanne de Beer and Lisa Sawyer who tragically lost David Tagliaferri and Albert de Beer in a truck crash in Western Australia last year and who have since courageously campaigned for the Road Safety Remuneration Bill so that no other families have to suffer as they have.”


Joining Tony in Canberra today was truck driver and owner-driver representative with the Australian Trucking Association Frank Black. Frank commented: “This legislation will make a real difference to truckies across Australia. Each and every day I speak to truck drivers who tell me of the pressures from clients to meet dangerous deadlines. Guys who can’t afford to take their trucks off the road for essential maintenance, as their rates of pay are so low. Now truckies will finally have a place to go when they are not getting treated fairly by clients or by trucking companies.”


Tony Sheldon continued “On behalf of every road user, hundreds of thousands of truck drivers and their families, I want to thank every MP and Senator who voted in support of this legislation. This historic legislation could not have been achieved without the support, encouragement and dedication of the Gillard Government, including Ministers Albanese and Shorten and Senators Alex Gallagher and Glenn Sterle. I would also like to pay tribute to Adam Bandt MP, and the Greens Party Senators, Andrew Wilkie MP, Tony Windsor MP and Senator John Madigan and Nick Xenephon for their support and to thank them for recognising the importance of this legislation to prevent trucking tragedies from occurring each and every day in communities across Australia.” 


Tony concluded “We now look forward to the swift implementation of this legislation and the establishment of the Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal on July 1st 2012, so that major retailers like Coles can no longer pressure drivers into making dangerous decisions and we can begin to reduce the heavy toll of tragedy on our roads.”




For further information, please contact:  Barry Dunning, Press Officer, TWU, Tel: 0408 463 199, email:


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