What Barn­aby brings to truck­ing

Big Rigs - - TRUCKIN' THE TROPICS WITH ALF WILSON -

THE new year wel­comes in a new Fed­eral Trans­port Min­is­ter, Deputy Prime Min­is­ter Barn­aby Joyce.

The Na­tion­als leader is now the third Fed­eral Min­is­ter in the Turn­bull Gov­ern­ment to take over re­spon­si­bil­ity of the NHVR in as many years.

Yet with a mega task ahead of him in the road trans­port sec­tor, he is an­tic­i­pated to in­stead use his agri­cul­tural nous to place fur­ther fo­cus on the pro­posed $8.4 bil­lion in­land rail project – an on­go­ing lose/lose thorn in the side for the Na­tion­als.

One whose plans have many pro­duc­ers in south­east Queens­land out­raged yet left pro­duc­ers in western New South Wales dis­ap­pointed about the in­ac­tion of the process.

Roads how­ever aren’t com­pletely off the pri­or­ity list with the devel­op­ment of north­ern Aus­tralia ex­pected to serve as a ma­jor drain on the port­fo­lio with an an­tic­i­pated $5 bil­lion in NAIF loan in­vest­ment ex­pected.

While Trans­port is a rel­a­tively new port­fo­lio for Mr Joyce, he played an in­te­gral part of the abo­li­tion of the Road Safety Re­mu­ner­a­tion Tri­bunal in 2016.

As Deputy Prime Min­is­ter, he led the charge along­side Turn­bull to abol­ish the scheme.

The Mem­ber for New Eng­land again butted heads with trans­port unions in the 2016 elec­tion when he was cam­paigned against by the the Rail, Tram and Bus Union over his in­ac­tion on in­land rail.

Fol­low­ing the De­cem­ber an­nounce­ment, in a me­dia state­ment on the switch, out­go­ing Min­is­ter for In­fra­struc­ture and Trans­port Dar­ren Ch­ester said serv­ing in the po­si­tion was an hon­our and a priv­i­lege.

“As the Min­is­ter for In­fra­struc­ture and Trans­port, I’ve been very for­tu­nate to be in a po­si­tion to re­ally have an im­pact on peo­ple’s lives,” Mr Ch­ester said.

“In fact, that port­fo­lio is the one I re­gard as the best port­fo­lio in the Fed­eral Par­lia­ment.

“It is a port­fo­lio where you get to change peo­ple’s lives and save peo­ple’s lives, where you get to re­duce con­ges­tion, im­prove pro­duc­tiv­ity, and also re­duce road trauma through our road safety ini­tia­tives.

“There’s a lot of projects in the In­fra­struc­ture and Trans­port port­fo­lio that I would loved to have been part of the fu­ture of.”

PHOTO: AL­LAN REINIKKA ROK241117AJOYCE3

TACK­LING TRANS­PORT: Barn­aby Joyce in Rock­hamp­ton.

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