Who'd disagree with plans to make our roads safer?
This story is about one small example of the spin and subterfuge that characterised the Gillard Labor days. Watch Gillard go to work on a motherhood statement like "I stand for improved safety on our roads".
Here's Julia Gillard's address to the ACTU Congress in 2009.
Australia’s truck drivers work hard to make a living. But they shouldn’t have to die to make a living. And we will be working on safe rates to prevent them from having to take that risk.
We will work with the Transport Workers Union and responsible employers to make sure that drivers are paid for all the work they do. We will make sure that payment methods and rates do not require drivers to speed or work excessive hours just to make ends meet.
In 2012, Gillard introduced the "Road Safety Remuneration Act" and established the "Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal".
Tony Sheldon from the Transport Workers' Union was thrilled. Here he is thanking Gillard.
‘Thank you’, two simple words that go a long way towards showing appreciation to the Gillard Government for introducing ‘Safe Rates’ legislation, writes Tony Sheldon
Truck Driver Steve Newton (right), his wife Eva and granddaughter Brianna with Prime Minister Julia Gillard and Tony Sheldon
No one knows better than the Transport Workers Union (TWU) about the importance of knowing when to fight for what’s right. Whether it is standing up for the safety of truck drivers and the Australian public who use our roads, or standing up for those working in the aviation industry, we are never found wanting when the case for fairness in working conditions needs to be put front and centre.
However, it is also important to know when to simply say ‘thank you’. That’s what the TWU did at the recent national Labor conference in Sydney. We were joined by owner-driver Steve Newton from Western Sydney, his wife Eva, and their granddaughter Brianna. We displayed a huge thank you card, congratulating the Prime Minister Julia Gillard; Minister Anthony Albanese and the entire Government, for their recent decision to introduce Safe Rates legislation to ensure safety on Australian roads for truck drivers and the wider Australian public.
Many governments over many years have said that they will act on the many reports but haven’t — this Government is acting.
The Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal is already into its second round of pay determinations. Here is the TWU submission.
There were comprehensive laws in place in each state to regulate road transport and to outlaw rogue practices. Roads and traffic authorities, workplace safety authorities and police have immense powers to put unsafe operators off the road.
But the Gillard response to the transport "opportunity" was to impose more regulation. We got brand new Tribunals and Authorities to increase the compliance burden on transport businesses and click the handbrake up another notch on the overall economy.
The Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal
was soon joined by the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator.
And the result of the Gillard attention on transport? Fewer road deaths? Better transport businesses?
Truck fleets grounded in Labor permits chaos
HEAVY haulage operators along the eastern seaboard are grinding to a halt as the dysfunctional national truck permit system fails to deliver, forcing three states to take urgent measures to ensure the notoriously cash-poor industry is able to function.
The sclerotic Labor-era reforms have forced NSW, Victoria and Queensland to step in to help the owners of transport responsible for driving the nation’s mining, construction and logistics industries.
Transport owners have warned that many vehicles have been grounded just two weeks after the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator came fully into force with the mandate of implementing seamless national reform for vehicles of more than 4.5 tonnes.
Instead, transport owners have failed in their hundreds - and possibly thousands - to receive the necessary permits and permission to go out about their business, potentially sending some bankrupt.
The system is so compromised that other states could also be called in to help solve the problems caused by a regime that was meant to streamline, not choke, the permit system.
“We’re all grounded,” warned Victorian transporter Craig Membrey, who said his company’s applications for permits to conduct their business were in limbo.
“We’ve got 20 (applications) in and we’ve only had two back. The stress on me and everyone else is just disgusting.”
NSW and Victoria have joined Queensland in trying to bail out a system that seeks to manage the way equipment such as trucks carrying large cranes, mining infrastructure and bulldozers travel through municipalities and regions around Australia.
The NHVR confirmed yesterday that it was in discussions with other states to determine what, if any, action would be needed to get the system operating.
From today, VicRoads in Victoria will take over the processing of oversize heavy vehicle permits in a bid to deal with the deadlock, having previously sent staff to Queensland to assist the regulator with implementation. NHVR will take back control only when it gets its operational processes and technology together.
Victorian Roads Minister Terry Mulder told The Australian: “This is consistent with the approach of other jurisdictions, Queensland and NSW.”
It was announced on Friday night that NSW would join Queensland and Victoria in allowing operators to apply directly to their state transit authority to travel within state borders.
It beggars belief that anyone took these people seriously. Gillard's "one stop shops" for union mates were disastrous. It will take years and years to untangle the mess - but a very important starting point is for the nation to recognise the source of the problems. Labor and its union mates.