Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews says if his government is re-elected in November, it will provide $4 million in funding to cover the training of 800 new heavy vehicle drivers, in partnership with the Victorian Transport Association and other third parties.
The Premier made the announcement at a VTA reception held at Victoria’s Parliament House, where more than 100 VTA members and supporters attended. He also outlined how large-scale transport infrastructure projects needed to become “the new norm” for industry participants to achieve the efficiency and productivity they need to be successful.
The news was welcomed by the VTA.
“Heavy vehicle driver training and reforms to licensing are issues the VTA has been advocating strongly on for some time as a further mechanism for attracting new people to the industry and addressing the shortage of skills and drivers that are holding many operators back,” said VTA CEO Peter Anderson.
“In partnership with the Victorian Government, the VTA has provided intensive training for well over 60 new drivers through our Driver Delivery program, which has also been instrumental in putting these drivers in jobs in transport,” he said.
“The $4 million the Premier has announced … will go a long way towards addressing this shortage, with 800 new highly-skilled and professional drivers over four years a welcome addition to the pool of drivers our industry desperately needs to service the growing freight task,” he said.
Transport infrastructure projects
The Premier took the opportunity to reiterate how his government, over four years, had invested in major transport infrastructure projects needed to handle unprecedented population growth, such as the Metro Tunnel, West Gate Tunnel and a capital works program that was maintaining and building new roads throughout regional Victoria, funded largely by the $9 billion lease of the Port of Melbourne.
He also recommitted to putting the North East Link out to market within 100 days of a re-elected Labor government.
Mr Anderson said it was an exciting time to be working in the transport industry in Victoria, adding: “Our industry is about people, freight and the economy that drives the standard of living we all enjoy,” he said.
“While over the years at times, as an industry, we have felt left behind, there is now a real focus on our industry and we are encouraged by new infrastructure, a new industry specific department in Freight Victoria, and an economy that is going from strength to strength,” he said.
While the 800 prospects will receive heavy vehicle driver training if the government is re-elected, it’s up to you to ensure your drivers and workers – as well as those businesses in your supply chain – are compliant with heavy vehicle Chain of Responsibility (CoR) laws.
Ignorance is no excuse for breaches of CoR laws.
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