Trucking Australia 2013 pumps life into waning ATA convention

Caption: ATA Chief Executive Stuart St Clair facilitated the debate at Trucking Australia 2013. The event was designed to give delegates a chance to make a difference, have their say and get results.
Caption: There were more operators at Trucking Australia 2013 than at any ATA convention since 2006.
Caption: There were more operators at Trucking Australia 2013 than at any ATA convention since 2006.

How much work can you do on a tropical island? Well for the delegates at the recent Australian Trucking Association conference Trucking Australia 2013 they worked together to build industry action plans  covering the carbon tax and road charges, safety, and getting more women and young people into the industry.

Trucking Australia 2013 was a sold out event and by all accounts was a success and a much needed improvement on the fatigued conference format.

ATA CEO Stuart St Clair hinted towards a changing of the convention format at last year’s event at Sydney’s Rosehill horse track saying the old format was getting stale and the amount of information sent out to ATA members and member associations meant the traditional seminar room briefings just weren’t relevant.

NTI’s Industry Relations Manager, Owen Driscoll, said NTI had started to question the relevance of the ATA’s annual conference and felt that the time had come to review its tired format.

“The format required a greater focus on operator interaction and opportunities for participants to voice their concerns on issues that were directly affecting their businesses,” Mr Driscoll said.

“We believe that was the outcome achieved with the new format at Hamilton Island, and we will work with the ATA during the next few months to further refine the structure to ensure the event continues to be relevant.

“We congratulate the ATA and our partners Volvo and BP for having the vision to try something new,” he said.

The proactive changes meant more trucking operators came to the event than at any ATA convention since 2006.

The action plans included:

  • opposing the extension of the carbon tax to the fuel used by the trucking industry
  • campaigning for fairer and more effective chain of responsibility laws and enforcement, with more dialogue between operators and the NHVR and better education for enforcement officers
  • providing school career counsellors and school leavers with better information about the training opportunities and careers in today’s industry.

ATA Chief Executive Stuart St Clair told delegates that the ATA would consider the action plans at its next council meeting in September.

It’s a sign that the ATA are working for its grass roots membership base and it will give the council plenty to ponder.

“We will send you all a detailed response to the plans,” Mr St Clair said.

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