Amid the ongoing bushfire crisis, the Australian Trucking Association (ATA) has held a teleconference with Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development, Michael McCormack.
On Monday, the ATA, its members and other representatives from the trucking and rail industries discussed bushfire response and recovery efforts with the Deputy Prime Minister.
ATA Chair Geoff Crouch said the ATA General Council will meet next Monday to develop a proposed assistance package for affected trucking businesses and employees, before a follow-up teleconference with the Deputy Prime Minister to provide a full outline of the trucking industry’s position and recommendations.
“The bushfire crisis has had devastating impacts on communities across the country, seeing the loss of lives, homes and businesses,” Mr Crouch said.
“It has also heavily impacted trucking businesses who have had to endure safety hazards, road closures and lengthy delays in getting much needed supplies to communities in need.”
Trucking businesses in SA and WA were significantly affected, where fleets of trucks were left stranded during the 12-day closure of Eyre Highway.
“In the longer term, the government must ensure infrastructure and bridges are rebuilt in accordance with bushfire resilient standards,” Mr Crouch said.
“The government must also take dramatically stronger action to address climate change.”
The Deputy Prime Minister thanked trucking businesses for the support they are providing to the community, while Mr Crouch said in the ATA’s statement that he commended the Deputy Prime Minister “for his initiative in engaging with industry at this critical time”.
In addition to the ATA lobbying on behalf of its members, it will roll out information to affected businesses about the government assistance that is available, Mr Crouch said.
Mr Crouch will take part in a prime ministerial roundtable on the bushfire crisis this Friday, while ATA CEO Ben Maguire will participate in a roundtable today with federal Agriculture Minister Bridget McKenzie.