Michael McCormack returned as trucking industry minister
THE trucking fraternity has congratulated Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack on his re-appointment as the Federal Transport, Infrastructure and Regional Development Minister.
Australian Trucking Association chair Geoff Crouch said Deputy Prime Minister McCormack understood trucking and the important role it played in the Australian economy.
"He has demonstrated a commitment to improving industry safety and productivity since he was first appointed to the role in 2018," he said.
"He is a well-known advocate for small business, as well as regional and remote Australia. I'm certain he will continue to advocate for and support the road transport industry."
Mr Crouch said he had demonstrated an understanding of the importance of trucking, having already made important contributions to the improvement of industry safety and productivity.
"Earlier this year, Deputy Prime Minister McCormack delivered $400,000 of Government funding to assist in the redevelopment of the Volvo ATA Safety Truck - an initiative that will educate young drivers and vulnerable road users about how to share the road safely with trucks," Mr Crouch said.
"He has also delivered much-needed funding for heavy vehicle safety initiatives and road safety projects through the Heavy Vehicle Safety and Productivity Program.
"Deputy Prime Minister McCormack shares the ATA's vision of zero fatalities and serious injuries on our roads," he said.
"The ATA and our member associations look forward to continuing to work with Deputy Prime Minister McCormack and his portfolio team on important issues such as the need for independent, no-blame safety investigations of heavy vehicle crashes, more and improved truck rest areas, and mandating advanced safety technologies such as autonomous emergency braking.
"We also call on Deputy Prime Minister McCormack to lead action on the reviews into the Heavy Vehicle National Law and heavy vehicle accreditation.
"It is vital we see substantial reform in this space to support the hardworking individuals and businesses that call the Australian trucking industry home.
National Heavy Vehicle Regulator chair Duncan Gay said he looked forward to continuing to work with Mr McCormack to deliver on-going heavy vehicle safety and productivity reforms across Australia.
"Michael has taken a keen role in understanding the challenges facing heavy vehicle operators and has been a strong advocate for progressing initiatives which deliver greater productivity and uniform laws and regulations across state borders.
"The returned Coalition government has made announcements in relation to boosting the ongoing Heavy Vehicle Safety Initiative program, as well as additional funding for a local government infrastructure assessment program.
"I look forward to continuing the NHVR's close working relationship with Federal government and Department of Infrastructure, Regional Development and Cities in the years ahead."
Victorian Transport Association chief executive officer Peter Anderson said Mr McCormack had approached the transport and infrastructure portfolios with "great enthusiasm" since he took them on.
"We are thrilled that there is continuity of leadership in these important ministries in the returned Morrison Government," he said.
"We've valued the relationship and dialogue we've established with the Deputy Prime Minister and his team and his interest in the VTA and the transport industry more broadly has been keenly felt through his attendance at numerous VTA and industry forums, where he has listened to and acted on the challenges we are confronted with.
"We look forward to building on the constructive engagement with the Deputy Prime Minister, and to advancing the agenda of our members and industry with other cabinet members whose portfolio responsibilities impact the freight and logistics sectors."
Both Mr Crouch and Mr Gay congratulated Alan Tudge, who will enter Cabinet as Minister for Population, Cities and Urban Infrastructure in the Treasury portfolio, and Scott Buchholz, who will be Assistant Minister for Road Safety and Freight Transport.
"We are very pleased that the Government has recognised the importance road safety and our industry by refocusing Scott Buchholz's role. It's a great appointment," Mr Crouch said.
Mr Gay said he was looking forward to working with the pair to "deliver an on-going reform agenda for heavy vehicle safety and productivity."