The funding announcement was made by Transport Minister Darren Chester, who acknowledged the major role fatigue plays in truck crashes and the trauma of deaths that result.
“We have had decades of research telling us truck driver fatigue is a major problem and that financial pressure on trucking companies and drivers themselves is what is forcing people to drive long hours,” said Michael Kaine, TWU Acting National Secretary.
“We had a tribunal in place which was investigating this problem and holding wealthy retailers and manufacturers to account for low cost contracts which are at the root of the problem. The Federal Government tore this tribunal down and now it is spending public money to make it look like it cares about deaths in truck crashes. In reality it is starting to look like they realise they got it wrong,” he said.
Two Government reports released this year show the tribunal’s Orders would have cut truck crashes by 28%. The reports also acknowledge the link between safety and safe fair rates of pay.
“This week we reached 100 deaths in truck crashes since the tribunal was torn down in April. This Government turned its back on a viable solution to the crisis in trucking and wasting taxpayers’ money will not change that,” Kaine added.