11 October 2019


Today the Senate voted to establish an inquiry into the Australian road transport and freight industry.

The terms of reference for this inquiry were months in the making and came out of sheer desperation from an industry that is severely being squeezed from the top of the supply chain.

Following numerous conversations and meetings with drivers, subcontractors, state and national transport associations, trainers, academia, small, medium and large employers and the Transport Workers Union, Senator Sterle convened two Transport Industry Standards Forums to bring representatives from all sectors of the transport industry together to work on establishing a clear pathway forward to address the pressures and challenges within the industry.

At the second forum held in August 2019, the group agreed that a way forward for the industry to remain sustainable, profitable, viable and safe was to pursue a Senate inquiry into the Australian road transport and freight industry.

As such, the group worked on and then endorsed a terms of reference which formed the basis of the inquiry which successfully passed through the Senate today.

“We now have a unique opportunity to look into every aspect of the transport sector so that we can inform the Government, through the committee’s final report of what needs to change in order to make our industry safe and sustainable.

“This inquiry will be far reaching and all-encompassing and I encourage anyone who is interested in or who is affected by the transport and freight industry to make a submission to the committee.

“I would like to thank all cross bench Senators for their support in establishing this inquiry however, it is important to note that the Government did everything it could to stop this inquiry from getting up.

“This raises serious concerns about the vested interests that the government is conniving with at the top of the supply chain.

To make a submission to the inquiry, please contact the committee secretariat on 02 6277 3511 or at [email protected]


The importance of a viable, safe, sustainable and efficient road transport industry, with particular regard to:

a. the importance of an enforceable minimum award rate and sustainable standards and conditions for all stakeholders in the road transport industry;
b. the development and maintenance of road transport infrastructure to ensure a safe, and efficient road transport industry;
c. the regulatory impact, including the appropriateness, relevance and adequacy of the legislative framework, on all stakeholders in the road transport industry;
d. the training and career pathways to support, develop and sustain the road transport industry;
e. the social and economic impact of road-related injury, trauma and death;
f. efficient cost-recovery measures for industry stakeholders, including sub-contractors;
g. the impact of new technologies and advancements in freight distribution, vehicle design, road safety and alternative fuels;
h. the importance of establishing a formal consultative relationship between the road transport industry and all levels of government in Australia; and
i. other related matters.