Australia, Industrial Relations, Transport Industry News

TWU holds Parliament House vigil

A TWU delegate arrived at Parliament House on Tuesday to hold a vigil for the lives lost on the road in 2023.
TWU

The Transport Workers Union descended upon Canberra on Tuesday to honour the lives lost on the road to transport-related crashes in 2023.

The group travelling to Parliament House symbolically laid out 58 high-vis vests – to represent the transport workers whose lives were lost – and 177 white t-shirts for other road users.

TWU representatives, transport workers and senators including TWU national secretary Michael Kaine, ACTU president Michele O’Neil, NRFA vice president Glyn Castanelli, FBT Transwest managing director Cameron Dunn and Senators Glenn Sterle and Tony Sheldon were all present at the vigil.

The union hopes to push the federal government to vote on the Closing the Loopholes Bill, which it says will ‘set safe, fair and sustainable standards in transport including the gig economy’.

Michael Kaine speaks at the vigil. (Image: TWU/Supplied)

“Today we remember those tragically killed on our roads and pay our respects to their families,” Kaine says.

“Deadly pressures in transport have gone unaddressed for years, resulting in fatal crashes and business insolvencies that could have been prevented.

“The tragic losses symbolised with clothing on the lawns of Parliament House are a reminder that throughout the political debate on reform to establish safer standards in trucking, people have been dying. Workers killed while trying to make a sustainable living, and men, women and children killed just trying to get from A to B.

“This reform has come from the industry – recommended by a three-year Senate inquiry and endorsed by transport workers, major transport clients, employer and owner driver associations, and academics. Enforcing safer, fairer and more sustainable standards will save lives and businesses.

“This is a crisis that requires urgent action. We urge crossbenchers to pass this legislation.”

An industry delegation including TWU transport workers, owner drivers, gig workers, representatives from ARTIO and NatRoad, owner-driver representatives from the NRFA and TEACHO will give briefings to Parliament this week.

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