Hannifey vs Black in owner-driver elections

A leading trucking safety advocate will take on the ATA's incumbent owner-driver representative in this year's industry election

A leading trucking safety advocate will take on the Australian Trucking Association’s (ATA) incumbent owner-driver representative in this year’s industry election.

Rod Hannifey has gained nomination for the owner-driver representative on the ATA General Council, and will vie for the position against Frank Black.

Hannifey, who runs the Truckright Industry Vehicle (TIV) to promote the road transport and safety, says an association with the peak trucking lobby will help him raise the industry’s image and safety.

"Owner drivers are a very hard working group of individuals and, like myself, often find it hard to be heard and or to change things for the better," Hannifey says.

Black, who has been an owner-driver for 25 years, says he understands the problems small business operators face.

If elected, he has pledged to "vigilantly" pursue action on mandatory fixed freight rates, which may be introduced in response to a study recommending pay systems be overhauled.

"We must address all problems in the order of priority, and to me it is obvious that rates are the biggest issue because without sustainable rates we have nothing," Black writes in a letter to voters.

Although admitting he does not have the experience of other owner-drivers, Hannifey says a passion and commitment for the industry "may well be the best thing I can bring to this position".

If elected, Hannifey says he wants owner-drivers to offer their views and experiences to help improve the industry, and will continue campaigning for action on rest areas.

Black says stopping owner-driver exploitation must be a central issue for the sector, followed by action on roads and rest areas.

In a veiled swipe at fatigue management laws, Black tells voters governments must stop enforcing regulations unless the infrastructure is in place to help the industry comply.

"I also believe that as owner/drivers we should align ourselves with organisations that are sympathetic to our problems and can work together with us to improve our industry for ourselves and our future generation," he says.

The ACT Electoral Commission is currently sending ballot papers to voters, who have until March 9 to make their decision.

Doug McMillan was re-elected unopposed as the small fleet representative on the council.

McMillan, who was the president of NatRoad from 1999 to 2001, won the Outstanding Contribution to the Trucking Industry award in 1996.

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