July 8, 2024


The TWU is saddened to report the passing of former TWU President and SA/NT Branch Secretary Ian Smith, a dedicated TWU member of 30 years who lost his battle with cancer yesterday.

Ian joined as a member of the TWU in 1994 as a driver at TNT, where he later became a delegate. Ian went on to be the lead delegate for the TWU in South Australia for the first national enterprise agreement at TNT – the first of its kind in the country.

Fifteen years ago, Ian started as a TWU official, and two years after that was elected to Branch Assistant Secretary. He was Branch Secretary from 2017 until he stepped down in May 2024.

Some key achievements of the union during Ian’s tenure on the National Committee of Management include:

·       Negotiating national enterprise agreements that have lifted thousands of transport workers to industry-leading rates of pay and 15% superannuation;

·       Improving pay and safety across the Adelaide bus industry;

·       Defeating Qantas in the High Court over illegal outsourcing;

·       Getting Virgin Australia back in the air after administration; and

·       Fighting for two decades and winning transport reform and world-first gig worker protections, which Federal Parliament passed earlier this year.

TWU National Secretary Michael Kaine said:

“TWU members and the broader transport industry would not be where they are today without Ian Smith. For three decades, Smithy dedicated himself wholeheartedly to the pursuit of a safer, fairer, better life for transport workers, their families and all who share the roads and the skies.

“Smithy was respected and loved by his members, the TWU National Committee of Management, and many across the union movement. Taking on the likes of Qantas, Uber, Amazon, and major retailers would not be possible without people like Ian insisting that transport workers deserve better. The TWU will always remember the commitment of Ian and the support of his loving family.”

TWU SA/NT Branch Secretary Sam McIntosh said:

“Ian will always be a giant of the TWU and transport industry. So many of our members knew Ian personally and saw first-hand how hard he worked every day. His contribution has been simply immense. His passion for our members and their families is second to none, and his vision for the TWU SA/NT branch always extended far beyond his own tenure.

“On behalf of the Branch Committee of Management, delegates and members, our thoughts and condolences go out to Ian’s wife Sue, daughter Maddie and his entire family. We will miss Smithy terribly and are all the more determined to continue his legacy and make Ian proud.”

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