As we count down the days to the end of 2020 most of us can’t wait to see it gone. In so many ways this year has been highlighted by disappointments, devastation, losses, bungles, scandals, disappointments, and other negativities.
But the trucking and the whole of supply chain can build on all the positives to come out of it. We have finally been acknowledged as an essential industry and providing the necessities of life to all the population. It was the same during the devastating bushfires, and the floods and in the aftermath of these events and then especially during the Coronavirus crisis.
Without trucking industry soldiering on during the pandemic there would have been no essential services, medical supplies, no groceries, no toilet paper and yet we had to fight hard to keep truck stops open so drivers had somewhere to buy take away food and use basic facilities.
We now need to capitalise on these gains especially leading into the Christmas period and the easing of the border restrictions when people will finally be able to travel after months of restrictions and being unable to see their families.
One of the by-products of the lockdown, especially in Victorian metro, is that no one has been driving much if at all. Once the state borders are open, they will possibly be driving long distances. They may have forgotten how to share the road with heavy vehicles. They will also be taking up parking spaces reserved for trucks and we will have to again fight for our rights at truck stops and rest areas.
Let us pray that we get through this busy period without any major issues and then in the new year we can start an image campaign to highlight the safety of the road transport industry and the humanity of the people who work in it. Transport Women Australia Limited have some ideas on this, and we hope to put them into action in 2021.
The Driving the Difference scholarships winners have been announced – see full story on page 33 – and have been showcased on the TWAL social media and will be presented with their certificates at the TWAL EOY functions. We congratulate the winners and wish them success with their chosen course and their careers.
Transport Women Australia Limited has held its AGM and the full board is remaining in place. We are holding EOY functions in Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne and Perth. We had hopes of SA and Tasmania, but they did not come to pass.
We are well into planning for the 2021 Driving the Difference conference with registration to be opened early January 2021. There are still opening for sponsors and speakers; submissions or enquiries can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org or 0417422319.