The primary aim of the Truck Industry Council’s (TIC) National Truck Plan is to advocate to Government the virtues of modernising the Australian truck fleet.

Australia, by world standards, has an old fleet with an average age of almost 15 years.

The Truck Industry Council’s National Truck Plan acknowledges the Federal Government’s key strategic objectives and identifies policy options the Government can pursue to deliver on these objectives. Options are presented in this plan: to reduce heavy vehicle fatalities and serious injuries; to improve the health of Australians, particularly in urban areas, through a reduction in noxious emissions; and to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the nation’s road distribution channels thus enabling the Federal Government’s record road infrastructure spend to be realised, in turn improving energy productivity and reducing heavy vehicle road transport greenhouse emissions. To enable these benefits to become a reality today and for future generations, barriers that reduce the country’s ability to modernise the nation’s truck fleet must be overcome.

TIC calls upon Federal and State Governments to actively pursue an agenda which accelerates the adoption of the latest heavy vehicle safety systems, emission standards and advanced fuel saving technologies that will result in a safer, cleaner, greener and more energy efficient national truck fleet.

The choice is not whether Australia uses trucks—they are essential to our standard of living – the choice for the Australian people is whether we have the most modern fleet possible. The implications are profound: Australians can have safer trucks, cleaner, greener trucks and more productive trucks on the road, or we can continue with an old Australian truck fleet and its inherent legacy of older technology.

Obtaining the support of Government in promoting a more modern truck fleet by means of financial and operational incentives for operators to upgrade their fleets will speed up the introduction of advanced truck safety, environmentally-friendly and intelligent transport technologies.

Australians want to be sure that the trucks on the nation’s roads today comprise a modern truck fleet. Settling for less would be to agree that it was acceptable to go to a hospital and receive treatment from 15-year and older medical technology.

We would not settle for that and nor should we accept an old Australian truck fleet.

Anthony J McMullan PhD