Industry backs Gillard's ascension


ATA and TWU congratulate Julia Gillard, with the ATA calling for a meeting with the new PM

By Rob McKay | June 24, 2010

The road transport industry was quick to congratulate Julia Gillard on her elevation to Prime Minister today but the situation in Canberra remained fluid this afternoon and its ultimate impact remained unclear.

As predecessor Kevin Rudd took his place on the backbenches at Question Time, where Gillard was flanked by Transport and Infrastructure Minister Anthony Albanese and Treasurer Wayne Swan, there was an expectation that few substantial portfolio changes would be made so close to an election.

Australian Trucking Association Chief Executive Stuart St Clair has sent a letter to Gillard seeking a meeting on heavy vehicle safety, national regulation, emissions trading, road pricing reform and a new driver licensing system.

"The Chairman of the ATA, David Simon, our member association presidents and company representatives and I would like to meet with you in due course to discuss the industry’s priorities," St Clair says.

Transport Workers Union National Secretary Tony Sheldon was fulsome in his praise for the new leader.

"Julia Gillard has been working hard for Australian families, including truck drivers, and by demolishing WorkChoices she has restored a system of fairness to employment conditions in Australia," Sheldon says.

"She has also made some of the most landmark decisions in favour of the trucking industry, the most dangerous industry in Australia, and is bringing all parties, including clients, transport companies and drivers, together for landmark reforms."

He underlined that Gillard reaffirmed her commitment to the industry as late as last Sunday, when she said that there was "clearly a compelling case evolving for an independent assessment of what constitutes a ‘safe rate’ for the transport industry".


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