TRUCKRIGHT Blog for 6/4/2019 ATA Convention

Goodaye all. Currently at Sydney airport waiting for a flight back to Dubbo after attending the Australian Trucking Association Convention in Perth. It has been a few years since I attended one, but this year there was a rest area focus and I was asked if I would participate.

I got in late Wednesday after a long delay in Sydney, so missed the welcome drinks. Thursday had a “What is different in WA” start and then after release of the latest NTI figures with a couple of major issues raised, a panel with NTC/NHVR and others and after lunch were break out sessions. I attended the rest area and driving hours ones and would have liked to go to the image one, but it was on the same time as one of the others.

Finishing up the day, an informal dinner on the water with Thermo King supplying the latest in a long series of hand painted frig units up for auction, was lucky with the rain and on Friday morning a very serious session on Mental health and well being. Not only a problem in our industry, but on making a comment, I was assured by presenter and ATA Chairman, Geoff Crouch that all comments would be recorded, investigated and where and when possible, pursued with fervour.

This issue has been talked about for a long time and it was said by many, talking about it does not solve this problem, let alone the others the industry faces. However, I alone or you or anyone else on their own, has buckley’s chance of seeing anything major change or improve on their efforts alone. I am keen to work with the ATA, to contribute as and where I can and support their efforts where I see a chance to gain some improvement. Without members no association can “do” much and without members input, efforts and support, nothing much is likely to be achieved.

But if people do not raise issues, seek change and improvements through such groups, individuals will never achieve as much. There is still a role for such and I am not saying don’t have a go on your own, but you must choose your battles and do the best with your army, pity you can’t really choose you foes, they tend to come for you anyway.
Further sessions, lunch and a Q and A with an ABC TV flavour saw the RSRT get the audience very much involved. Senator Glen Sterle on the panel gave as good as he got, along with an assurance the first one was a balls up as it came to us, the next one will not happen that way and that the industry would be involved all the way with one aim, to get a better result for all drivers and owners in the industry.

Coming away there is still much to do and some will say, nothing has changed, but what are they, or you, doing to get that change underway? I sincerely hope many things will flow from this. I am not that blind or stupid that I think all will be solved tomorrow, but nothing will change if no one even makes a start.

Thank you to the ATA for a well run and organised event and to all who attended for their efforts. Now we must pursue what was started.

Thank you to the ATA and to Heather Jones from Pilbara Heavy Haulage Girls and Success Transport for their assistance in attending, to Heather and Yogi for video interviews for “TRUCK THAT Australia”, to all who made me welcome and to all who said Goodaye. Also to those who stood up and had a say in any of the forums, the more who contribute, the better the outcome. Safe Travelling, Rod Hannifey.

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