Owner drivers and small fleet operators from around the country have elected Frank Black as the owner driver representative on the ATA’s General Council. Mr Black previously held the position from 2003 to 2009.
The ACT Electoral Commission conducted the election, receiving 79 formal ballot papers by the time voting ended on Monday, 7 March. Frank led the first preference count with 35 votes, compared to the next highest candidate, Allan Clark, with 28. Once the two candidates with the lowest number of votes were excluded, Frank was declared the winner with 38 out of the 74 remaining votes.
Mr Black said that owner drivers and their families are an important sector of the transport industry, working long hours and spending long periods away from each other just to make ends meet.
“The different interpretations of laws between the states, low rates of pay, log book fines and demerit points for minor offences, rising costs and the lack of decent rest facilities need to be addressed now. Governments and associations need to understand and act on these issues,” he said.
“Everyone is constantly calling for safety: governments, law enforcers, associations, and the general public. Well, we also want safety for ourselves, our families and everyone else, so we need a structure where we can make a living, look after our families and stop whipping the hell out of us with stupidity and unworkable laws and conditions.
“Over the last few years, I have been involved with others in the safe rates campaign, which has seen the federal government agree that a safe rates regime with minimum rates of pay must be legislated for owner drivers and drivers. We must now pursue this and the other issues I have mentioned vigilantly until they are implemented.
“I will not rest until governments pass laws to keep us and others safe on the roads and give us and our families a fair go,” he said.
Mr Black will commence his new position at the ATA’s Annual General Meeting on 30 March.