Well, we are into the New Year of 2017 and the team here at Diesel News is determined in its resolution of remaining positive. It’s important to maintain perspective and keep the optimism about future developments for the trucking industry going.
Of course, the chances of the situation going pear-shaped over the holiday period are quite low. The politicians are on their holidays and unable to sign off on anything affecting our industry. They seem to be too busy signing contracts to buy new apartments on the Gold Coast, it seems!
At the same time, the likes of A Current Affair and the rest of the anti-trucking media are beholden to produce feel good and positive stories for the festive season. Luckily, the daily news has had little content in it about major traffic accidents involving trucks, apart from the very unfortunate incident in which a driver was killed after being pulled over by the police.
So in the interests of remaining positive, Diesel News is looking to the future with a degree of good humour. Truck sales, reported elsewhere show a degree of optimism in the industry as a whole, which is stronger at the lighter end.
The legislators seem to be looking at truck-related legislation with a much more long term view than they have in the past. We need a lot less knee jerk reactions and a few more considered developments of policy. This seems to be the trend as the relationship between the National Transport Commission and the National Heavy Vehicle regulator remains strong.
At the same time the NHVR can be seen to be driving the bus a bit better than they have in the past. The realistic goals and long, but also realistic, timelines, with set agendas and proper consultation, seem to be making the State Transport Ministers a little less jumpy and less likely to react in a knee jerk fashion than they have in the past.
This may not be the case in Western Australia, where an ongoing battle continues to hot up around how freight is going to get from the Port of Fremantle to the rest of the state, without upsetting the local NIMBYs of Perth. Perhaps the lack of stability there can be explained by the decision by WA to reject the NHVR?
We may get a bit of controversy around the Chain of Responsibility, but when was COR anything but contentious? Perhaps when the first big fines are handed out to anyone who is not a transport company, we will be able to sleep soundly in our beds. At the moment, it is looking like other parties, up and down the chain, are waking up to their responsibilities, at last!