Fatigue management laws
Katter calls on minister to stamp out new rules
AUSTRALIA’S fatigue management laws are “straight out ridiculous” says Katter’s Australian Party Queensland State Leader Robbie Katter.
That’s why he’s pushing for temporary amendments to Queensland’s driver fatigue management laws as current limitations on livestock transporters driving hours often exposed stock under needless harm and suffering.
He said he asked the Minister for Transport and Main Roads Mark Bailey and the Minister for Agriculture Mark Furner to raise the issue with the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator as currently truck drivers were required to pull over at least every five-and-a-half hours, while weak stock suffered and in some cases perished, in the hot sun.
“We’d love to see a massive overhaul of the fatigue management laws,” he said .
“I think they cause a lot of unnecessary angst and harm productivity and take away the autonomy that drivers need to manage themselves properly.
“There’s the old adage you can’t legislate for idiots and there’s a small amount that may do the wrong thing but by and large most people do a good job of managing their fatigue and don’t need the government making rigid laws that do more harm than good.”
He said livestock drivers and hauliers were under pressure thanks to the current Queensland drought conditions.
“They’ve got stressed animals on board and they’re trying to get from A to B and when you’ve got a big head wind and a slow road, you run out of hours pretty fast.
“It’s pretty impractical two hours short of Mt Isa or Cloncurry for instance and you’ve got stressed animals, it would seem silly that there wouldn’t be some latitude by the government under these conditions to make life a little bit easier for these drivers.
“All we’re asking for is to give a bit of autonomy back to the drivers so they can manage this in very difficult circumstances.
“It’s a cost free way and a really practical way the government can help.”
While Mr Katter was currently only pushing for amendments for livestock drivers, he said he’d be “very keen” to push for a complete overhaul for the fatigue management laws for all heavy vehicle operators in regional areas.
“The fatigue management laws are something straight out ridiculous.
“They give a false sense of security to people because (it) forces in some cases drivers to sleep when they’re not tired and drive when they are tired to make it from A to B just because these laws were drawn up by some blooming bureaucrat in the city.
“We’re battling these laws all the time but for now we just want amendments and some latitude applied during the drought conditions.
“It’s time consuming and cumbersome, some of those permits you can get under schemes, a lot of people don’t use that stuff because you’re busy enough with the business as it is trying to make ends meet.”
There’s the old adage you can’t legislate for idiots...
— Robbie Katter
FATIGUE MANAGEMENT: MP Robbie Katter has described new laws as being ridiculous.