TWU boss calls for new safety and enforcement body

By: Chris Smith


The Transport Workers Union wants to set up a national safety and enforcement program led by union, industry and government

The Transport Workers Union wants to set up a national safety and enforcement program led by union, industry and government representatives to reduce the amount of fatalities in the heavy vehicle industry.

TWU boss Tony Sheldon says the safety program will encourage more drivers into the industry because it will be seen as safety conscious.

"There needs to be a national tripartite safety and enforcement program made up of union, industry and government representatives to ensure that the horror injury and fatality statistics currently seen in our industry improve", Sheldon says.

"We cannot expect young people to enter our industry if they cannot guarantee that they will return home to their families after work each night."

In calling for industry, union and government officials to work together, Sheldon also wants greater investment from the Federal Government in training programs.

This, says Sheldon, needs to be backed up increased rates of pay in order to ensure drivers don’t leave the industry in search of more profitable work.

"We need to improve training, safety and rates of pay across the road transport sector to encourage young people to enter our industry and to retain drivers," he says.

"If there is going to be long term changes to improve the road transport sector and to encourage new drivers then investment needs to occur now."

There were 228 fatalities as a result of heavy vehicle accidents in 2006-2007.

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