The chair of the Senate Inquiry into driver licenses, Senator Glenn Sterle vowed to continue “plugging away” at the state of truck driver licensing and its oversight in the new year.
He said instances of fraud and corruption that have come to light in Queensland, NSW and Victoria indicated that some private companies should be put into administration however he is also mindful of the load of red tape and cost of doing business that increasing volumes of regulation implies.
He explained that we don’t want a system where being a truck driver is too expensive but that where safety is concerned, there is no compromise. Having the best trained drivers is crucial.
Sterle revealed a lack of liaison between state and federal compliance arms, which he was disappointed by. He explained:
“Pass on the information – it’s a simple as click a button, it’s not hard, we do it all the time,” he says.
“All I’m saying is, if some state jurisdiction has uncovered gross corruption within the heavy vehicle training and licensing of heavy vehicle drivers, there is no excuse for it happening a second and third time.”
The writer of the post points out that the lack of proper information sharing undermines the value of mutual recognition across states of each others driver licensing.
The Senator said politicians were guilty of under-resourcing the agencies carrying the oversight, regulatory and enforcement burden in freight transport and related areas.
New South Wales’ Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) and the committee were not able to agree upon a time to take questions this year, with Senator Sterle saying he looked forward to hearing evidence in the new year. The committee is expected to resume hearings in mid-February.
“Roads and Maritime Service representatives were unable to appear before the Senate Committee on 10 November 2016,” it tells Owner//Driver.
“Transport for NSW and Roads and Maritime will consider invitations provided for 2017 hearings.
“A request was made to attend one of the later dates originally offered in November but this offer wasn’t taken up by the Committee.”