Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


Train 'train drivers' not 'truckies'!

Train 'train drivers' not 'truckies'!

The answer to any national shortage of truck drivers is not to train more truckies but to move freight off the road and back onto the rail track, Green Party Co-leader Rod Donald said today.

"What we really need is more trains and more train drivers. Every freight train carries the load of several trucks, and every extra train driver helps address the reported truckie shortage," he said.

Mr Donald is responding to calls from the Road Transport Forum, the Forest Owners Association and the Log Transport Safety Council to urgently train more truckies and get them onto the roads shifting freight.

"This is a short-sighted response to a nationwide problem, that affects not only freight movers, commerce, industry and agriculture; but also the taxpayer, road users, holidaymakers, overseas visitors and the environment," Mr Donald said.

"We need to take a broader view, and accept that the only sustainable answer is to get freight off articulated, road-hogging, diesel-burning juggernauts and onto energy-efficient, cost-effective rail.

"The first step is obviously for the Government to urgently negotiate the return of the national rail track to public ownership, and to allow different service providers to efficiently run on the tracks," Mr Donald said.

"The Government must upgrade the rail track, and ensure a level playing field - including by making road users pay the full costs of their road usage.

"New Zealand's transport strategy has for decades focused far too much on road-building and meeting the needs of bigger, wider and longer trucks; when what we should be doing is building up our rail network," Mr Donald said.

"Not only will the economy and the environment improve, but we will also notice significant improvements in overall transport costs, road safety, community development and public health," Mr Donald said.

The Road Transport Forum, Forest Owners Association and Log Transport Safety Council was reported today as saying that New Zealand was already short of about 1250 road transport drivers, with a shortage of up to 4000 expected by the year 2005.

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines


Breed Laws Don’t Work: Vets On New National Dog Control Plan

It is pleasing therefore to see Louise Upston Associate Minister for Local Government calling for a comprehensive solution... However, relying on breed specific laws to manage dog aggression will not work. More>>


Corrections Corrected: Supreme Court Rules On Release Dates

Corrections has always followed the lawful rulings of the Court in its calculation of sentence release dates. On four previous occasions, the Court of Appeal had upheld Corrections’ practices in calculating pre-sentence detention. More>>


Not Waiting On Select Committee: Green Party Releases Medically-Assisted Dying Policy

“Adults with a terminal illness should have the right to choose a medically assisted death,” Green Party health spokesperson Kevin Hague said. “The Green Party does not support extending assisted dying to people who aren't terminally ill because we can’t be confident that this won't further marginalise the lives of people with disabilities." More>>


General Election Review: Changes To Electoral Act Introduced

More effective systems in polling places and earlier counting of advanced votes are on their way through proposed changes to our electoral laws, Justice Minister Amy Adams says. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On Our Posturing At The UN

In New York, Key basically took an old May 2 Washington Post article written by Barack Obama, recycled it back to the Americans, and still scored headlines here at home… We’ve had a double serving of this kind of comfort food. More>>


Treaty Settlements: Bills Delayed As NZ First Pulls Support

Ngāruahine, Te Atiawa and Taranaki are reeling today as they learnt that the third and final readings of each Iwi’s Historical Treaty Settlement Bills scheduled for this Friday, have been put in jeopardy by the actions of NZ First. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The Damage De-Regulation Is Doing To Fisheries And Education, Plus Kate Tempest

Our faith in the benign workings of the market – and of the light-handed regulation that goes with it – has had a body count. Back in 1992, the free market friendly Health Safety and Employment Act gutted the labour inspectorate and turned forestry, mining and other workplace sites into death traps, long before the Pike River disaster. More>>

Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news