Industry lays out concerns to minister

Federal transport minister talks over pressing matters with representatives

Industry lays out concerns to minister
Darren Chester fielded industry views on the road forward.


Trucking industry representatives have confidence that infrastructure and transport minister Darren Chester is on top of their concerns following a roundtable meeting, should he be returned after the next election and hold on to his portfolio.

As prime minister Malcolm Turnbull prepared to gain assent for the election and in the wake of the Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal’s (RSRT’s) demise, Chester sought to keep industry safety in focus.

He fielded views on better infrastructure, more and better-designed rest stops, greater education on chain of responsibility regulations, industry codes of practice, true national camera monitoring, and education and awareness for light and heavy vehicles sharing the road, NatRoad CEO Warren Clark tells Owner//Driver.

Clark feels Chester is "genuine" in wanting to tackle industry problems.

The Australian Livestock and Rural Transporters Association (ALRTA) says of the meeting that it is "supportive" of the minister’s proposal to expand the New South Wales and South Australia camera network into Victoria and Queensland and for National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) to lead the integration of the system to make it more useful for tracking long distance heavy vehicles.

"A national registration system is also required to make the best use of the technology," it adds.

"The ALRTA has also proposed that some of the available funding is directed towards a national education program for drivers of light vehicles."

It adds there is "huge potential for the federal government to help reduce the incidence of fatal accidents by educating light vehicle drivers about how to share the road safely with larger vehicles". 

It noted that ATA members met earlier in the day with NHVR senior management to discuss the organisation’s current safety program and how the additional money formerly earmarked for the RSRT might be used to fast-track or expand initiatives.

Other areas of interest for industry include fast tracking the development of industry codes of practice and more rapid roll out of roadworthiness reforms including a move to risk-based vehicle inspections.

Chester will still be minister when he delivers a keynote address at the Australian Trucking Association’s (ATA’s) Trucking Australia 2016 event on the Gold Coast on June 23-25.

It points out that he has a long standing interest in road safety and, in 2014, jointly established the bipartisan Parliamentary Friends of Road Safety group.

"Trucking Australia 2016 will be held just one week before the federal election on 2 July," ATA CEO Chris Melham says.

"Mr Chester’s speech will be an opportunity for delegates to hear about the government’s policies on road safety and building stronger trucking businesses."



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