TRUCKIE FEEDBACK: Senator Glenn Sterle has extended the deadline for his inquiry to give drivers more time to have their say.
TRUCKIE FEEDBACK: Senator Glenn Sterle has extended the deadline for his inquiry to give drivers more time to have their say. Conference Photography Australia

Submission deadline extended for Senate inquiry on industry

TRUCKIES still have plenty of time to make a formal submission to the Senate inquiry on the importance of a viable, safe, sustainable and efficient road transport industry.

Originally due to close tomorrow, the Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport References Committee overseeing the probe, has now pushed the deadline back to November 8.

At the time of writing there were just 14 submissions, but WA Senator Glenn Sterle told Big Rigs he wasn't overly concerned by the low numbers so far.

"We've got a good array of submissions already, but I want to hear from drivers too,” said Mr Sterle, chair of the Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport References Committee.

"I know they're too busy driving trucks and keeping it on the road and then when they get home they want to spend good quality time with the family, but just do a one pager when you can.

"It doesn't have to be much, just a short email, or a line or two is enough saying, 'hey, this is what we think'.

Mr Sterle also reiterated his commitment to taking the Senate committee around the major urban and rural transport hubs to get industry input before his final report is submitted in April, 2020.

Mr Sterle said he's hoping to have dates and venues finalised for those forums within the next few weeks.

Meanwhile, veteran driver Ken Warneke, one of the few truckies to make a formal submission so far, has doubts the inquiry will result in any lasting change.

"I have been a driver for 40 years and nothing changes,” he writes.

"Drivers are on the bottom of the food chain.

"Every driver knows it just a matter of time of how and when your employer will rip you off .

"It's not only the employer that will, it's also the Federal Government with its superannuation policy for truck drivers. The other issue is how do young people get experience to enter this industry? I constantly get asked by young people, 'how do I get experience?'

"Grass roots drivers don't have time to go to any of these seminars that are put on. They're out there trying to earn a living . You need people on the ground talking to drivers . Not some white collar worker who thinks he knows all about it.”

Submissions can also be emailed to rrat.sen@aph.gov.au.

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