Canberra and industry form parliamentary friendship

Sterle and Marino to co-chair the industry engagement group

Canberra and industry form parliamentary friendship
Glenn Sterle is co-chairing the PFTTTL


Industry has, on paper at least, made some friends in high places following the formation of the non-partisan Parliamentary Friends of Trucks, Trailers, Transport and Logistics (PFTTTL).

More than two dozen members and senators have agreed to form the group, co-chaired by Assistant Minister for Regional Development and Territories Nola Marino and Shadow Assistant Minister for Road Safety Senator Glenn Sterle.

The parliamentary friendship listing mentions: "It is intended that this Group will provide a non-partisan forum for MP's and Senators to meet and interact with representatives of the transport industry, enabling a deeper engagement between them and the Parliament and elevate the opportunity to focus on priorities to make a safer, more productive and environmentally sustainable heavy vehicle industry."

Sterle says the new group will play an important role in creating more awareness of the importance of the trucking and heavy vehicle industry in parliament.

"Trucking is in my blood. My dad was a truck driver, I followed after him and my son is a long-distance truck driver as well.

"As a result, road safety for transport families and all road users as well as the sustainability, profitability, viability and safety of the trucking and heavy vehicle industry has been at the forefront of my mind for many years.

"It is great that we now have this friendship group which will act as a forum, providing Members of Parliament with an opportunity to engage with transport organisations and workers to learn more about this incredibly important industry."

The announcement notes Australia’s freight task is the fifth largest in the world – covering more distance and carrying more freight per capita than any other trucking industry around the world – demonstrating the importance of freight to the national economy and living standards.

"The trucking and heavy vehicle industry is integral to regional and remote communities. Many people wouldn’t realise there are almost as many trucking businesses in regional Australia as farms, generating significant local employment," Marino says.

"As well as supplying our towns, road transport businesses help get our goods to domestic and international markets. The industry also supports other local businesses through purchase of goods and services, including fuel and maintenance."


In May, peak bodies Heavy Vehicle Industry Australia (HVIA) and the Australian Trucking Association (ATA) signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU), with the formation of a parliamentary friendship group one of the desired outcomes.

Crouch Drake.JPG

How the associations broke cover on the partnership, here

Both have now welcomed today’s announcement.

"We are absolutely delighted to welcome the establishment of this important group and look forward to working with the engaged ministers and encourage discussion to focus on issues key to industry such as maximising productivity, raising the industry’s profile, solving the skills deficit and improving road safety," ATA chair Geoff Crouch says.

HVIA president John Drake said it was encouraging to see Australia’s politicians understand the importance of the trucking industry and their willingness to engage on important issues.

"This is an unrivalled opportunity for the industry to speak with a shared voice and to raise the profile of our amazing industry with decision-makers in the Federal Parliament," Drake says.

"We thank and acknowledge Chairs Marino and Sterle for their hard work in establishing the PFTTTL and look forward to working with all of the members of the group to ensure a positive result and improvements in heavy vehicle safety and productivity."

There are almost 80 parliamentary friendship groups.


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