Quite a Ride over the Past Few Years

quite a ride over the past few years

Well, it’s been quite a ride over the past few years, not just for the trucking industry, but the whole world. It doesn’t look like the global issues are going to go away any time soon, we are still in a pandemic, there’s a war in Ukraine and the climate is warming.

The May election can be looked at in many ways, you win some, you lose some. However, if it did tell us one thing, it was that the people of Australia, decided the old politics wasn’t for them. The former government was not moving the dial on our many issues and people were looking for a change of attitude, not just government.

The new government is talking up the idea of consensus politics and Anthony Albanese has a reputation of being a reasonable person to deal with in a meeting room. I have got this from those in the trucking industry who dealt with him in his time as Transport Minister in the Rudd government.

Now is the time we should be, as an industry, thinking positive. We need to make our points precisely and show a willingness to negotiate to reach the ‘consensus’, wherever that is. 

The problem with negotiating and consensus is that, if it’s done right, at the end of the day, nobody is fully satisfied with the outcome. The flip-side of this, everyone will also feel that they got something out of the process and have a small victory to take back to their people.

As an industry which is often marginalised and left out of the real decision making and consultation, this kind of regime should be to our advantage. Or, it will be to our advantage, if we get our act together, prepare for the new political climate and offer some reasonable ideas when we get our turn to speak at the table.

The fact of the matter is we are not going to get everything on our wish-list, but if we play our cards right we should get some. That’s the theory, anyway. A positive attitude should go a long way if the world of politics delivers on some of the promises made in May, during the run up to the election and in the immediate aftermath.

While trying to remain positive, it is difficult to ignore the power available to the state governments to mess this so-called consensus up completely. So much of the the legislation and regulation affecting our industry is actually a state responsibility. When it comes to access, a lot of the issues will involve the local governments as well.

The trick, therefore, is for the feds to include the states in their consensus, this requires quite a lot of positive thinking to achieve, but we may just get a few wins out of this.

If it all fails to deliver on the changes the trucking industry is looking for, then we will still have a had a period, no matter how brief, when we did have a positive outlook and some relief from the foreboding which has hung over us for the past couple of years. 

quite a ride over the past few years

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