INQUIRY UNDERWAY: Senator Glenn Sterle said the inquiry aims to stop the squeeze from the top of the supply chain.
INQUIRY UNDERWAY: Senator Glenn Sterle said the inquiry aims to stop the squeeze from the top of the supply chain. The Weekly Times

Senate inquiry into road transport industry approved

THE Senate has voted to establish an inquiry into the Australian road transport and freight industry.

In a statement released last night, WA Labor Senator Glenn Sterle, the shadow assistant minister for road safety, said the terms of reference for the inquiry were months in the making.

He added that they came out of sheer desperation "from an industry that is severely being squeezed from the top of the supply chain".

Following numerous conversations and meetings with drivers, subcontractors, state and national transport associations, trainers, academia, small, medium and large employers and the Transport Workers Union, Senator Sterle convened two Transport Industry Standards Forums to bring representatives from all sectors of the transport industry together.

The aim was to work on establishing a clear pathway forward to address the pressures and challenges within the industry, he said.

At the second forum held last month, the group agreed that a way forward for the industry to remain sustainable, profitable, viable and safe was to pursue a Senate inquiry.

As such, the group worked on and then endorsed a terms of reference which formed the basis of the inquiry which successfully passed through the Senate yesterday.

"We now have a unique opportunity to look into every aspect of the transport sector so that we can inform the Government, through the committee's final report of what needs to change in order to make our industry safe and sustainable," said Senator Sterle.  

"This inquiry will be far reaching and all-encompassing and I encourage anyone who is interested in or who is affected by the transport and freight industry to make a submission to the committee."

To make a submission to the inquiry, please contact the committee secretariat on 02 6277 3511 or at rrat.sen@aph.gov.au

INQUIRY TERMS OF REFERENCE

The importance of a viable, safe, sustainable and efficient road transport industry, with particular regard to:

a. the importance of an enforceable minimum award rate and sustainable standards and conditions for all stakeholders in the road transport industry;

b. the development and maintenance of road transport infrastructure to ensure a safe, and efficient road transport industry;

c. the regulatory impact, including the appropriateness, relevance and adequacy of the legislative framework, on all stakeholders in the road transport industry;

d. the training and career pathways to support, develop and sustain the road transport industry;

e. the social and economic impact of road-related injury, trauma and death;

f. efficient cost-recovery measures for industry stakeholders, including sub-contractors;

g. the impact of new technologies and advancements in freight distribution, vehicle design, road safety and alternative fuels;

h. the importance of establishing a formal consultative relationship between the road transport industry and all levels of government in Australia; and

i. other related matters. 

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