The trucking and logistics industry has welcomed the announcement that Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce will be appointed as the new Infrastructure and Transport Minister.
“Barnaby Joyce has a wealth of experience and understanding of regional Australia, and understands the importance of roads and transport to communities’ right across Australia,” said Geoff Crouch, Chair, Australian Trucking Association (ATA).
“Trucking is an enabler of opportunity, allowing businesses to reach domestic and international markets, consumers to purchase goods, farms to sell their produce, and construction materials to enable new developments.”
The Deputy Prime Minister will be responsible for a significant transport agenda in 2018.
“The Government has announced a $75 billion infrastructure program, plans for progressing road pricing reform, launching a new national freight and supply chain strategy, and important reviews into safety accreditation schemes, the National Road Safety Strategy, and the National Land Transport Network,” said Crouch.
“It’s a significant to-do list and the ATA looks forward to working with the Government to ensure the views of the trucking industry are well represented.”
Crouch also welcomed the reappointment of Paul Fletcher as Minister for Urban Infrastructure, and now also with responsibility for cities.
“Paul Fletcher has shown a commitment to engage with trucking operators on the details of heavy vehicle reforms, and we look forward to that continuing,” said Crouch.
“There is a pressing need to enhance a new national agenda on land transport safety and productivity, and the ATA looks forward to engaging with Barnaby Joyce, Paul Fletcher and the Australian Government to make this a reality,” he said.
“We look forward to working with Barnaby Joyce, in building a safe, efficient and effective road transport industry for future years,” said National Road Transport Association (NatRoad) CEO, Warren Clark.
“We welcome a fresh perspective to a portfolio which is a vital component of building Australia’s productivity, particularly in rural and regional Australia.
“We hope to meet with the new Minster shortly, to discuss the prominent issues facing today’s trucking industry, including issues which need urgent attention such as: A lack of national consistency in regulatory requirements and enforcement, access restrictions for high productivity vehicles, and traffic congestion in urban areas.
“We’d also like to extend our appreciation to outgoing minister Darren Chester, for his contribution to the Road Transport Industry in his time as Minister. We admired his energy, intelligence and commitment to the portfolio,” he said.
Crouch paid thanks to the service of outgoing Transport Minister, Darren Chester.
“The trucking industry thanks Darren Chester for his work as Transport Minister and in particular his commitment and passion for road safety,” said Crouch.
“It has been an enormous honour and a privilege to serve in Cabinet in the best portfolio possible, infrastructure and transport,” Darren Chester said in a statement.
“Over the past two years, I’ve been part of policy and project decisions which will change lives and save lives across our nation.
“I’m proud of the work my team and I have done on behalf of the Government and I’m sorry we won’t get to finish some of the jobs we’ve started,” he said.