Author Acknowledgement

This discussion has been developed in collaboration with the Gippsland Safe Freight Network, an NRSPP Program Partner. Acknowledgement is given to John Ernst, Peter Harbridge, Alan Pincott, Peter Gallus, Tom Wachal, Geoff Owen, and Ned Dennis.


Partnerships with industry members and the wider community offer a significant opportunity to improve the safety, productivity and well-being of the transport industry. The benefits of such partnerships include shared resources; access to broader networks, differing skill sets and a wealth of information and data; improved industry efficiency and improved quality of industry outcomes; and shared risk.

This discussion paper aims to provide organisations with a way to build partnerships and relationships with other sectors of their industry and other industries. It follows a series of theories of group development that need to be considered for a local network to be developed within your industry.

It has been developed in collaboration with the Gippsland Safe Freight Network. Safety forums like this are a powerful and cost effective model that can be adapted to all industries. They are beneficial because they provide localised and more wide-reaching safety outcomes. This discussion paper will focus on Truck Safety Forums and, in particular, the Gippsland Safe Freight Network.

There are three main elements to this discussion paper: the theory and psychology behind small group development; how these practices have been used to develop and maintain effective heavy vehicle safety networks in practice; and a case study of the Gippsland Safe Freight Network and the partnership it built.

Key Outcomes

  • Improved safety for the industry involved in the partnership
  • Improved safety for the surrounding community of the industry
  • Engagement of key stakeholders and a sharing of knowledge, information and practices