Over the last month local transport operators and regional business leaders across WA and the NT have met to discuss the issues that matter to them about improving road transport productivity and safety in their areas.

Western Roads Federation and the Northern Territory Road Transport Association conducted a series of transport forums in-conjunction with local chambers of commerce at:

  • South West WA (Bunbury)
  • Central Australia ( Alice Springs)
  • East Kimberley ( Kununurra)
  • West Kimberley (Broome)
  • Pilbara (Karratha), and
  • Goldfields (Kalgoorlie) 7th

An additional forum has been requested by the mid-west of WA to discuss issues in that region, the date is yet to be confirmed.

Each forum updated attendees on the changes to HVNL Chain of Responsibility and its impact on cross border operations, as well as updating attendees on WA’s compliance requirements and the current reviews.

What became apparent in the process of the forums is that a number regional business leaders were not aware of their responsibilities under Chain of Responsibility nor the compliance obligations transport operators needed to meet.  Having transport operators help explain what they did to reduce risk to business owners genuinely surprised some in the room.

As the forums moved towards discussing the local and national issues facing transport and its potential impact on local businesses, a genuine sense of mutual respect began to emerge.

“It was interesting to watch as each forum progressed the increasing respect regional business leaders and government officials had for the issues and solutions proposed by the local transport operators.”  Said Cam Dumesny, CEO of Western Roads Federation.

If transport is effected then local business is effected and that was a message really began to drive great conversations on how local road productivity and safety issues and solutions.

Every region had its own unique set of issues, in one case a local issue was unknown yet has the potential to severely impact the national road network.  But common issues also emerged across each of the different regions.

“ The border between WA and NT is a line on the map, the issues however can’t read maps, so are often the same on both sides especially between the Kimberley and NT ” said Louise Bilato, Executive Officer NT Road Transport Association

Western Roads Federation and the Northern Territory Road Transport Associations are now working on consolidating the issues and solutions proposed into an advocacy action plan.

Running regional forums is expensive and we are grateful for the support of TWUSUPER and Axle Hire.  Delivering the forums required driving over 10,000 km which was great as it gave both organisations a chance to talk to drivers along the way at truck stops and business sites.

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