Victoria Senator Bridget McKenzie addressed delegates at VTA State Conference 2023 to outline the challenges facing the transport industry.
At the event, McKenzie said the transport sector’s performance impacts the entire nation.
“In an era of unprecedented change and challenge, the success of our transport sector will be crucial to the success of our nation,” she said.
“Whether it’s a late night online shopping purchase, the milk we get from the local shop, or the petrol we buy; all of our goods are only accessible because of the transport industry.
“Cutting red tape is vital to boost productivity and ensure more product is moved more efficiently around the country. This means harmonising regulation across our states and territories.”
In addition, McKenzie addressed the issue of driver shortages by highlighting the importance for better recruitment.
“There is currently a short-fall of 6,000-7,000 drivers in the transport sector,” she said.
“I believe the real single greatest challenge as leaders is to engage, to train and to retain people in this industry.
“As policy makers and business leaders we need to work better, invest more and be more innovative in the way we recruit people into the industry.”
As Shadow Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development, McKenzie intends to play a constructive role while using her position to challenge ‘impractical policy decisions’.
“This is why I have been so vocal about the current proposal to impose higher fuel taxes and registration charges on the nation’s truckies, that would cost the sector an additional $2.6 billion over three years,” she said.
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