Truck strike fizzles out

The national truck stoppage has been cancelled after three days of protest although drivers were supposed to stop until state and federal governments changed logbook and truck driver safety regulations.

The National Road Transport Forum said that it will use more diplomatic ways to try and convince governments. Spokesperson Mick Pattel said the protest was cancelled because of confusion in the industry and a lack of union support.

“I would think that we would never do this again,” he said. “We are going to re-group; we are going to form an association.

“I believe if we can form a big enough association or big enough membership, because the associations now have got minuscule memberships compared to what they need to have to influence governments, we’re going to try and build a massive membership that will be very hard for the government to ignore.”

Parts of Queensland’s cattle industry say they’ve suffered serious financial loss after the truck shutdown decreased the numbers of cattle at saleyards.

Industry figures indicate cattle numbers fell to around 2000 head, compared to more than 28,000 head auctioned at selling centres last week.

Livestock agent Peter Daniel says his sector has lost a week of business.

“I suppose it has cost us a significant amount of money in lost revenue through the amount of cattle we normally sell every week through the selling centres we participate in,” he said.

“All those sales had either very reduced yardings or sales being cancelled altogether, and that’s just only our company, let alone anyone else’s involved.”

The country’s second largest meat processor, the Teys Group, said the decreased numbers, combined with the wet weather, will mean it won’t go back into full production until September.

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