Govt blames truckies for work diary shortage

Truckies blamed for work diary shortage afflicting Queensland, but government says issue will soon be resolved

By Brad Gardner

Truck drivers are being blamed for a work diary shortage afflicting Queensland, but the State Government claims the issue will soon be resolved.

Despite demand outstripping supply since early December, Queensland Transport expects drivers will all have new work diaries before the end of January.

And as production numbers increase to meet distribution requests, a spokesperson for Minister for Transport John Mickel says the shortage could have been averted had truck drivers acted sooner.

"Unfortunately, many drivers left it until the last minute to purchase one and this has led to the temporary shortage," the spokesperson claims.

According to the Government, more than 20,000 diaries have been produced since September last year, with 4,000 scheduled for distribution since last week.

And even if drivers cannot obtain a new diary from a Queensland office, the spokesperson says drivers can still get one by travelling interstate.

"As this is a national system, drivers can pick up a diary from the relevant transport authority offices in other states," the spokesperson says.

The Government says diaries are delivered within seven days of being ordered despite one operator claiming they were told to wait until February.

"There is no reason why any centres and offices should be without work diaries until February, as currently thousands of work diaries are currently being printed and distributed around the State," the spokesperson says.

Those without diaries are being told to photocopy pages, which are valid for 14 days up to January 31.

The spokesperson says photocopies are legal documents and drivers will not be issued with infringement notices.

Mickel’s office has also rejected assertions made by the National Road Freighters Association (NRFA) diaries had to be sent from NSW to meet demand.

The new diaries were introduced following the passage of fatigue management laws on September 29 last year.

Opposition spokeswoman on transport Fiona Simpson accused Queensland Transport of failing drivers, saying the industry is trying to comply with the new laws but is unable to do so because of government mismanagement.

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