Tony Sheldon, National Secretary of the Transport Workers Union, has thanked the Australian Government for supporting the Road Safety Remuneration Bill, which was passed through both the Senate and the House of Representatives earlier this week.
Tony said that with the passing of the bill, all Australians can now look forward to safer roads, and truck drivers can look forward to decent pay and conditions.
Speaking from Federal Parliament in Canberra on 21st March, Tony joined families and truck drivers from across Australia in applauding the Government's decision to support the bill.
"All Australians can reflect today that their Parliament has made a historic decision, which will make the roads that millions travel each day safer," he stated.
The signing of the bill is the culmination of a campaign that has been building for almost 20 years, Tony explained, adding that the landmark legislation will "finally begin to hold major retailers like Coles to account for the safe transportation of their goods."
Tony was joined in Canberra by truck driver and owner-driver representative with the Australian Trucking Association, Frank Black.
Frank agreed that the new legislation will make a real difference to truckies across Australia.
"Each and every day I speak to truck drivers who tell me of the pressures from clients to meet dangerous deadlines. Guys who can't afford to take their trucks off the road for essential maintenance, as their rates of pay are so low. Now truckies will finally have a place to go when they are not getting treated fairly by clients or by trucking companies," he commented.
The next step, Tony stated, is the swift implementation of the new legislation, in addition to the establishment of the Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal on the 1st July, 2012, so that "major retailers like Coles can no longer pressure drivers into making dangerous decisions and we can begin to reduce the heavy toll of tragedy on our roads."