Truck drivers back tribunal

TRUCK drivers fear more people will be killed on the roads if the federal government abolishes the Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal.

Transport Workers Union national secretary Tony Sheldon and Greenway MP Michelle Rowland recently joined drivers in Blacktown to urge the government to keep the tribunal, which intervenes when drivers are put under economic pressure to speed or skip rest breaks.

St Clair owner-driver Mark Trevillian said drivers were forced to drive too fast or too long to meet deadlines.

"At the moment owner-drivers are just stretched to the absolute limit and something's got to give," Mr Trevillian said.

"There's got to be corners cut. Either working longer hours or not servicing the vehicle, running tyres to the absolute bare minimum. The money is just not there to do everything properly and safely. That's why we need the [the tribunal}.."

Ms Rowland said there were more than 1000 truck drivers in her electorate.

"No one should be forced to break the law, risk a crash and take the chance on being killed on our roads, because of unfair economic pressure from clients," she said.

"Truck-driving is Australia's most dangerous industry, with a fatality rate 15 times higher than the national average."

Mr Sheldon said, "Our message to the federal Government is simple: road safety is not red tape. Let the national safety watchdog do its work in saving lives on Australia's roads."


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