If the powers that be really wanted to know how to make life easier for truckies on the highway, they would ask the bloody question. Of course, asking the question might get you the wrong result, you might find out what the problem really is.
This is the ongoing problem for marginalised groups, and I really believe truck drivers are a marginalised group in modern Australia. No-one wants to find the answers to the knotty problems. Politicians at all levels and of all stripes are only interested in the quick fix and the vote winning soundbite.
The reason so many of the ongoing problems for the trucking industry are not being addressed is not because nobody’s interested, it’s because there’s no votes in it. The only political party which has consistently (sort of) tried to help the trucking industry is the National Party.
This is not because the Nats have any altruistic feelings for trucking, it is because country people feel their community does depend on the trucking industry for its survival, and the Nationals depend on the rural vote for their survival.
If nobody’s asking the question, then the trucking industry’s voice gets lost in the white noise of politics where every little segment of society is trying to get its two cents worth across. Politicians are too busy watching their own back and then looking after their direct supporter’s interests to think about a marginalised group like trucking.
If this is the case, then clearly the solution is not to continually lobby politicians on a topic they have no interest in, because there are no votes in it. I think it was Einstein who pointed out that doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result was a sign of madness.
The issue is to get the perceived ‘voters’, whoever they are, to have concerns around trucking. The problem is the trucking community is not seen as a group within the voting population, we aren’t a ‘demographic’.
Perhaps we need to become a ‘demographic’, but how do you become one? This is the question we should be asking ourselves? How do we become an identifiable demographic? How do we get them to ask the bloody question?