Ron Finemore MD named ATA Chair

Mark Parry, new ATA Chair.

The Australian Trucking Association (ATA) has elected the Managing Director of Ron Finemore Transport, Mark Parry, as its Chair.

ATA members elected Parry as the association’s new Chair following the retirement of David Smith, who was elected as Chair in 2020 and re-elected in 2022.

Parry is a successful and experienced senior executive with experience across manufacturing, mining, mining services, contracting, and transport and logistics. He is also the Deputy Chair of Healthy Heads in Trucks and Sheds.

Parry said it was an honour to follow David Smith as Chair of the ATA.

“Trucking plays a very important role in supplying our daily needs. The ATA has a broad membership base and seeks to represent the industry to a wide range of stakeholders,” Parry said in a statement.

“I look forward to seeking to help improve the safety, sustainability and the ongoing viability of our industry for those involved in it,” he said.

ATA members also elected Australia Post executive James Dixon to the board.

Dixon said he was committed to working with industry and government to create opportunities to attract and retain professional drivers.

“In particular, we need to press on with the outstanding work of the ATA and industry on improving safety and compliance. A safer industry will assist in attracting future talent and the professional drivers the industry needs,” Dixon said.

James Dixon, Australia Post Divisional General Manager South.

The ATA’s retiring Chair, David Smith, said his time in office had been marked by crises including bushfires, the pandemic, floods and the AdBlue shortage.

“Despite these crises, we achieved an increase to the width of new trucks and trailers, mandatory advanced braking, and important protections in the new law that enables the Fair Work Commission to issue road transport orders,” said Smith.

Smith will remain on the board as the ATA’s Immediate Past Chair.

Three directors have retired from the board: Noelene Watson, Geoff Crouch and Austin Vella.

Noelene Watson became a member of the board in 2004 and was its Chair from 2014 to 2017.

“I want to express my gratitude to the ATA’s board and council for the opportunity for growth and development that I have had during my tenure with the ATA,” Watson said.

“The guidance and support of directors and councillors have played a crucial role in my professional journey, and I am thankful for the trust the council placed in me by electing me as Chair.”

Geoff Crouch became a member of the board in 2013 and was the ATA’s Chair from 2017 to 2020. He is also a former president of ATA member association NatRoad.

“It was an extraordinary and humbling honour to be elected as Chair of the ATA in 2017 [and] it was a privilege to be able to play a part in supporting Australia’s great trucking industry,” Crouch said.

“It would not have been possible, though, without the support of the ATA’s CEO at the time, Ben Maguire, Chief of Staff Bill McKinley and the entire secretariat, who collectively provided tremendous and invaluable support and guidance,” he said.

Austin Vella became a member of the board in 2014 and was elected as its Vice Chair in 2017.

“It’s been an absolute honour to work alongside so many leaders in our industry. As a director of the ATA and in my ongoing role as Chair of Road Freight NSW, I have had the opportunity to meet with other operators, regulators and our political leaders as we worked together for the good of the industry and the community,” Vella said.

“This was particularly the case in NSW as we advocated directly regarding freight movements through COVID, NSW re-opening in 2021 and safety messaging for all road users. I was honoured to be recognised by the NSW freight industry in 2022 for that work through the pandemic.

“I would like to thank the ATA Chairs that I worked with for their leadership, and I wish Mark and the current directors all the best,” he said.

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