State Cabinet has given in-principle support to develop a legislative model that will provide some relief from rising fuel costs for owner drivers in the trucking industry and address pressure being placed on operators to compromise safety in order to remain financially viable.
Planning and Infrastructure Minister Alannah MacTiernan and Consumer and Employment Protection Minister John Kobelke will work this month to develop that model with industry representatives, including owner drivers, the Transport Workers’ Union and the Long Distance Owner Drivers’ Association.
There is growing concern that rising fuel prices, excessive competition and unsustainable transport rates are leading some drivers to adopt unsafe practices such as driving hours above safe levels, using stimulant drugs to drive higher than safe hours and reducing maintenance on their vehicles.
“Many drivers are under significant financial pressure due to the increasing fuel costs and having to meet unreasonable delivery deadlines,” Ms MacTiernan said.
“Fierce competition within the industry means operators are pressured to accept uncommercial rates and compromise their fatigue management and vehicle maintenance standards.
“This can have an impact on road safety for all road users.
“Legislation was recently introduced in Victoria to provide for fair and sustainable contracts for owner drivers and the State Government will now develop a model that suits Western Australian conditions.”
Consumer and Employment Protection Minister John Kobelke said through WorkSafe, the State Government had invested a lot of time and effort in developing and enforcing fatigue management regulations for the trucking industry.
“We are listening to owner drivers in WA and will ensure that drivers are not tempted or forced in any way to cut corners on safety,” Mr Kobelke said.
Minister for Planning and Infrastructure's office: 9213 6400
Minister for Consumer and Employment Protection's office: 9222 9211