As trucking demand surges for Black Friday, the TWU says it’s been a black week in transport with three truckies killed in two days, and four others killed in truck crashes.
National transport industry convoys will take place in major capitals tomorrow urging Federal Parliament to commit to passing lifesaving transport reform.
Transport workers are outraged that the vote on the reform has been delayed to next year by a motion from Shadow Minister for Industrial Relations Michaelia Cash, leaving the industry exposed to deadly pressures throughout the chaotic festive period.
On Wednesday, the TWU, ARTIO, NatRoad and NRFA reported 202 truck crash deaths in 2023, including 44 truck drivers. Just two days later, the figures have risen to 209 and 47.
Two of the truck driver deaths occurred in separate crashes in the NSW Riverina region two days apart. The first was a horror crash between three trucks, with a 19-year-old driver killed and another in his 30s rushed to hospital with serious head and back injuries. The second death occurred last night when a driver’s truck ran off the road.
The third truck driver is believed to have been struck and killed by his own truck after it broke down and he attempted to fix it himself. The TWU often receives reports of truck drivers pressured to attempt repairs themselves because of razor-thin margins.
TWU National Secretary Michael Kaine said the horror week shows how urgent it is for Federal Parliament to pass lifesaving transport reform.
“This Black Friday marks a horror week in what was already a black year for transport deaths. Our essential industry has lost 51 heroes, including 47 truckies, three food delivery riders and a rideshare driver in 2023. Transport workers are being slaughtered on the roads, yet the Opposition has pushed a three-month delay on passing lifesaving reform into law.
“The industry is in mourning, but tomorrow we will come together in our masses across Australia’s capitals to channel our grief into action. National convoys for reform will remind Federal Parliament that the entire industry is backing legislation to set enforceable minimum standards in transport.
“Transport businesses are also collapsing at rising rates. In the three months from August to October, 166 transport insolvencies were reported – a 44 percent increase on the same period last year. The industry is in freefall. It needs the safety net of standards.
“The sooner this reform is passed, the sooner the industry will have the mandate to begin work putting fairer, safer and more sustainable standards in place,” he said.