Wat­son re­tires from ATA chair

Owner Driver - - Owner/Driver -

A LONG-SERV­ING mem­ber of the Australian Truck­ing As­so­ci­a­tion (ATA) and chair of the board since 2014, Noe­lene Wat­son has an­nounced plans to step down from the role next month.

Wat­son’s re­tire­ment was for­malised dur­ing ATA’s an­nual gen­eral meet­ing on April 5, al­though she will con­tinue to re­main a mem­ber of the board and its coun­cil.

Wat­son, who is the MD of re­frig­er­ated lo­gis­tics com­pany Don Wat­son Trans­port, was re-elected to the role of ATA chair last year.

Look­ing back at her legacy as the ATA chair, Wat­son says: “Un­der my lead­er­ship, the ATA cam­paigned for strong prac­ti­cal road safety mea­sures, in­clud­ing the re­forms to the truck safety laws that will come into force next year.

“We also stood up for owner-driv­ers and small fam­ily truck­ing busi­nesses.

“I’ll never for­get the chilly April morn­ing when I watched our truck con­voy against the Road Safety Re­mu­ner­a­tion Tri­bunal roll up to Par­lia­ment House.”

Wat­son high­lights some of the ATA’s ef­forts in im­prov­ing op­er­a­tions in the road freight in­dus­try.

“The ATA pressed the NTC and Aus­troads to up­grade the truck driver med­i­cal stan­dards,” she says.

“As a re­sult of our work, the stan­dards now warn treat­ing doc­tors against re­ly­ing on sub­jec­tive mea­sures of sleepi­ness to rule out a pa­tient hav­ing sleep ap­noea,” Wat­son says.

Thank­ing her as­so­ci­ates at the truck­ing body for their sup­port, Wat­son says she was pleased with the legacy she is leav­ing be­hind.

“I be­lieve it’s the ATA’s job to stand up for our in­dus­try when it’s at­tacked.

“I well re­mem­ber the day in 2014 when the ATA me­dia unit phoned me to say that Car­di­nal Ge­orge Pell had in­sulted Aus­tralia’s pro­fes­sional truck driv­ers by com­par­ing them to pae­dophile priests.

“I stood up for our in­dus­try and our driv­ers then, and would do it again. I have no re­grets.

“More pos­i­tively, I had the priv­i­lege of help­ing to present the Na­tional Truck­ing In­dus­try Awards for three years to some amaz­ing peo­ple.

“I also had the chance to hon­our the win­ners of the Bridge­stone Bandag High­way Guardian Award, which recog­nises heroic and self­less acts by driv­ers in the course of their work.

“I would like to thank all of the ATA’s di­rec­tors and coun­cil­lors for their sup­port, and par­tic­u­larly our vice-chairs dur­ing my pe­riod in of­fice: Ge­off Crouch, David Smith and Tim Knowles.

“I would also like to thank the ATA’s foun­da­tion spon­sors: BP, NTI and Volvo Trucks; our ma­jor spon­sor, PACCAR; and our other spon­sors and event part­ners.”

Noe­lene Wat­son has stepped down from the ATA chair po­si­tion

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