The crash happened in the town of Burrumbeet and involved a collision between a sedan and a truck, according to reports. “My condolences go to the family and friends affected by this tragedy, which is yet to be fully investigated. We know that a deadly cycle is at play in transport with major retailers and manufacturers squeezing transport operators and drivers with low cost contracts to the point that our roads are not safe,” said TWU National Secretary Tony Sheldon.
Truck drivers and Transport Workers’ Union have been appealing to the Government not to abolish the Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal which is investigating the pressure drivers are under to speed, drive long hours, skip mandated rest breaks and forgo maintenance on their vehicles.
The Government’s own reports released recently show that road transport has the “highest fatality rates of any industry in Australia” with 12 times the average for all industries. The reports also show the link between road safety and the pay rates of drivers and that the Tribunal will reduce truck crashes by 28%*.
Drivers from the cash delivery sector, ports, delivery of fuel, waste, retail and manufacturers will lose out if the Tribunal is abolished, with investigations ongoing in these sectors. Truck drivers, road safety campaigners and the TWU will visit Canberra on Tuesday to explain the pressures in the industry and the work the Tribunal is doing to address it.
“Road deaths in truck crashes are unacceptably high. Truck drivers have the highest workplace deaths, they suffer from chronic fatigue, stress, mental health problems and are among the highest numbers for suicide and bankruptcies. The Government must acknowledge there is a problem in this industry,” he added.
* PricewaterhouseCoopers “Review of the Road Safety Remuneration System Final Report January 2016” (PWC Review 2016 – published by the Commonwealth Department of Employment on 1 April, 2016)
Jaguar Consulting Pty Ltd “Review of the Road Safety Remuneration System 16 April, 2014 (Jaguar Consulting 2014 – published by the Commonwealth Department of Employment on 1 April, 2016)