The call comes after yet another tragic night on Australian roads, when three people were killed in an horrific truck accident near Ballarat.
Tony Sheldon said a delegation of people who had lost family members in truck crashes, including would be visiting Parliament next week to talk to politicians about truck safety. The delegation includes Sue Posnakidis, who yesterday wrote a opinion piece in the Daily Telegraph about the experience of losing her brother John Posnakidis in a truck crash.
“I have written to Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, Workplace Relations Minister Michaelia Cash and Transport Minister Darren Chester on behalf of the delegation to request an urgent meeting.
“Bereaved family members like Sue Posnakidis are very the reason why the Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal was established in the first place – so that fewer people have to go through the pain that she has suffered.
“Malcolm Turnbull must look these brave people in the eye and explain why he wants to abolish a tribunal which is improving safety and standards in the transport industry.”
Tony Sheldon said Malcolm Turnbull and Michaelia Cash also need to explain:
- Why they continue to misrepresent the finding of their own PWC report, which says the Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal will reduce truck crashes by 28%, in order to deny the incontrovertible link between pay and conditions for truck drivers and safety
- How pushing drivers to spend longer behind the wheel will reduce the appalling level of truck driver deaths;
- How lower rates will help owner drivers pay for vital truck maintenance; and
- How removing an independent tribunal that protects truck drivers from unrealistic demands will make our roads safer.
Owner Driver Ray Childs said the concept of minimum rates for truck drivers was not new, and had already been in place in NSW for 30 years.
“Minimum rates need to apply nationally to lift standards and ensure people can themselves a wage and pay their overheads. Otherwise you get a race to the bottom and safety is sacrificed.”
Tony Sheldon said the Federal Government was using misinformation and confusion over an Order made by the Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal in order to pursue its political agenda to abolish the entire Tribunal.
“Mr Turnbull and Ms Cash continue to argue that pushing truck drivers to the brink has no impact on road safety, but frankly their argument doesn’t pass the pub test,” Mr Sheldon.
“I’m sick of going to funerals for people killed in truck crashes. It’s time for Malcolm Turnbull and Michaelia Cash to stop playing games with road safety and to pull back on this reckless political frolic.”