House debates

Wednesday, 22 August 2018

Statements by Members

Road Safety

1:54 pm

Photo of Brian MitchellBrian Mitchell (Lyons, Australian Labor Party) Share this | Hansard source

People must despair when they look at what's going on here with all the rubbish and the leadership speculation, because we do things here that matter to people. We make laws that matter. They affect people's lives. I had the great privilege this morning of attending a breakfast here in the parliament with the Transport Workers Union, one of the most moving breakfasts I have attended. A number of my Labor colleagues attended with me. I was very sad to see no coalition members were there, because we heard very personal stories about how the dismantling of the Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal and the government's attitude to road safety are killing truck drivers and killing members of the community.

We heard a very harrowing personal story of a family that was personally affected and of the things that happen to truck drivers and their families. These are owner-drivers. These are small-business people. These should be the coalition's people. A family was affected when the driver husband worked for a 12-hour shift and then was made by his employer company to work a second 12-hour shift on pain of losing his job. On pain of losing his job, he was made to work a second 12-hour shift. He killed somebody by following that, and now he's in jail, but there's no jail for the employer who made him do the job. (Time expired)


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