Survey reveals unsafe conditions

Release date: 19/10/2011

The Transport Workers Union is surveying Mackay truckies in a bid to reduce the road toll.

Daily Mercury, Page: 11

Data collected during the second Safe Rates Survey is designed to be used by a federal tribunal to set fair pay and conditions for road transport workers.

Transport Workers Union Branch Secretary Peter Biagini said the union was determined to reduce the number of deaths of industry members on the roads.

"We’re taking the message across Queensland our state can’t wait for a safe rate," Mr Biagini said.

"Three hundred deaths a year, when we know the measures necessary to radically reduce the figure, is a scandal.

"Every single death rips communities apart.

"We are morally bound to make our roads safer and the key to that is an enforceable industry standard.

"Results from the first survey are chilling.

"Sixty-four per cent of drivers were pressured by employers to use dangerous driving practices and 44% to break the law.

"Twenty-five per cent of drivers worked 20 to 30 hours a week unpaid. One driver worked 44 hours unpaid.

"Mackay has a thriving transport and distribution industry, and the Safe Rates Survey is a vital part of the Transport Workers Union’s organising of the region." Mr Biagini said the Transport Workers Union began the campaign 13 years ago and had recently made "real progress".

"Transport Minister Anthony Albanese recently said legislation would go before parliament by year end, and once this is passed, we can get down to brass tacks with all the information we have collected mapping the industry.

"Professional drivers in Mackay need community support on spreading the word about how workplace conditions can be a life-anddeath scenario.

"The more public knowledge and the greater the support the faster we can make safe rates a reality." To fill out the Safe Rates Survey online, visit

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