Looking forward to a great year in 2010!

There’s not long to go now until the International Truck, Trailer and Equipment Show in March begins. The VTA will have an entire Pavilion at the show and we will be showcasing our members and partner organisations. We will also be using this space to run several information sessions, giving visitors an understanding of the industry as a whole and addressing some more important issues.

In the lead up to the Show, we are also supporting HVTT11 – the International Heavy Vehicle Symposium, which is being held at the State Library from 14-17 March 2010.

Many of the world’s leading heavy vehicle thinkers, legislators, administrators, suppliers, academics and transport organisations will be attending the symposium. They are coming to share their knowledge and debate the key issues around a theme of “balancing competing needs.” Many of the attendees were instrumental in shaping our current vehicle designs and operating rules; and they continue to grapple with how we can handle a growing freight task in a way that meets community expectations.

The sessions will focus on key policy issues including:

  • OECD and International Transport Forum’s report on improving safety, environmental and productivity of heavy vehicles
  • Performance based standards and the Australian experiment with PBS
  • Fast tracking innovative vehicles – experience from around the world
  • Energy and the environment – what is driving heavy vehicle policy, design and operations
  • Answering the question – how do we balance competing needs?

In addition to these major events, the Victorian Transport Association continues to work on multiple issues important to the industry.

We have been appointed to the WestLink Community Reference Group. WestLink is one of several major projects in the Victorian Government’s $38 billion Victorian Transport Plan.  Linking Melbourne Authority is conducting a planning study to consider the route for WestLink. The project has two stages – the first stage is a tunnel linking Dynon Road and Footscray Road in the Port of Melbourne Precinct with Geelong Road and Sunshine Road in West Footscray, whilst the second stage is a longer-term connection to the Western Ring Road. 
The Community Reference Group will provide input into the identification, development and assessment of project alternatives and the preparation of the WestLink planning and consultation study or generally.

Other important topics include ongoing issues over Pallet management, Higher Productivity Vehicle local access trials, the Port of Melbourne Truck Access Charge and coronial investigations into truck related deaths.

We are also continuing to grow our Technology and Environment groups which were established in 2009. Members have said that these are key areas of interest to their business, so we are planning further meetings and studies for these groups.

The Victorian Transport Industry Safety Group (TISG) now has a new Chairman, Wayne Mader. The newly appointed branch secretary of the Victorian Transport Workers Union took over the reigns on 11 December, 2009. We are very happy that the TWU has continued its strong involvement following the retirement of Bill Noonan.

The safety agenda for 2010 continues to be very important and the TISG will concentrate on forklifts, truck rollovers, distraction issues and chain of responsibility. A new chain of responsibility checklist has been agreed and will be distributed in early 2010.

Philip Lovel


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