The Australian Trucking Association (ATA) has congratulated the Australian Government for its consultative approach to responding to the current bushfire crisis.
It follows a teleconference the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack held with the ATA, its members and other representatives from the trucking and rail industries yesterday to discuss bushfire response and recovery efforts.
“I commend Deputy Prime Minister McCormack for his initiative in engaging with industry at this critical time,” ATA Chair Geoff Crouch said today.
“The bushfire crisis has had devasting impacts on communities across the country, seeing the loss of lives, homes and businesses. 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,” he said.
During the teleconference, the Deputy Prime Minister thanked trucking businesses for the support they are providing the community. The discussion then included how the Australian Government can assist affected trucking businesses.
Mr Crouch said the ATA General Council would 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.
“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,” he said.
Mr Crouch said in addition to lobbying on behalf of its members, the ATA will roll out information to affected businesses about the government assistance that is available.
Mr Crouch will participate in a prime ministerial roundtable on the crisis on Friday, while ATA CEO Ben Maguire will participate in a roundtable on Thursday with Agriculture Minister Bridget McKenzie.
The ATA and its member associations collectively represent the 50,000 businesses and 200,000 people in the Australian trucking industry. Together, the ATA and its members are committed to safety, professionalism and viability.