House debates

Thursday, 30 October 2014

Statements by Members

Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal

1:33 pm

Photo of Alannah MactiernanAlannah Mactiernan (Perth, Australian Labor Party) Share this | | Hansard source

The review of the Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal has been on the desk of Minister Abetz for many months. We need this report released and we need a commitment to keep the tribunal. We need to be doing more, not less, to address truck safety. As I have said before in this place, the link between trucking accidents and the contract conditions of owner-drivers has been established in report after report. Many owner-drivers have mortgaged their homes to buy their rigs—they cannot afford to turn down unsafe jobs and effectively be black-listed.

Two Western Australian widows whose husbands were killed in a truck accident in 2011, Lisa Sawyer and Lystra Tagliaferri, have pleaded for us to strengthen the law. They say they could easily have blamed the truck driver, but the more they realised the long hours drivers were required to sit behind the wheel, the more they realised the industry needs to change to keep our roads safe—not just for drivers, but for all motorists.

Before the remuneration tribunal was established, research by the National Truck Accident Research Centre showed Western Australia had more than its fair share of crashes. It seems this is in part because of interstate drivers. This is a national problem. It needs a full-blooded national response.