Trucking industry thanks Warren Truss
The Australian Trucking Association has today thanked Warren Truss for his leadership of the transport sector and support in Opposition and Government for the trucking industry.
Mr Truss told Parliament this afternoon that he will retire as Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development in the next few days.
The Chair of the ATA, Noelene Watson, said Mr Truss had been a long-time friend of the trucking industry.
"Coming from a farming family in Queensland, Warren has always understood the importance of transport and infrastructure, particularly for people in regional Australia," Mrs Watson said.
"In Opposition, Warren moved to disallow a ten per cent increase in the road user charge paid by truck and bus operators, after the industry pointed out that the system used to calculate the charges underestimated the number of trucks in the road.
"Now Opposition parties move disallowance motions all the time, but Warren was so determined he fought it to a tied vote. In the end, the Deputy Speaker had to use her casting vote to prevent the charging determination from being overturned.
"In office, Warren went on to freeze the road user charge in 2014 and 2015, after the National Transport Commission officially confirmed the problems with the charging system.
"Warren has been a steadfast supporter of reducing the red tape confronting trucking operators, including through his support for reforming the Heavy Vehicle National Law. The reforms will cut red tape and improve safety for trucking businesses and drivers.
"Warren has also championed infrastructure investment. In his speech in Parliament, he spoke proudly about his contribution to upgrading the Bruce Highway, as well as his work on connecting the east coast capitals with a four lane highway. But I say that he can also be proud of the Bridges Renewal Program - which is eliminating productivity choke points - and continuing the Heavy Vehicle Safety and Productivity Program.
"Warren's passion for the transport sector was always on show when he joined the industry for our yearly convention. I remember that one year he threw away his prepared speech and spoke, off the cuff, about the engineering, commercial and financial issues involved in grain transport in NSW. You could have heard a pin drop.
"He then impressed a pretty experienced crowd by demonstrating his truck driving skills in the DECA DriveSim heavy vehicle simulator.
"On behalf of the whole trucking industry, I'd like to thank Warren for his tireless efforts during his 26 years in federal politics. We wish him all the best," Mrs Watson said.