LABOR Senator Glenn Sterle has pledged to fight “tooth and nail” to prevent tech giants such as Amazon and Uber dominating the Australian freight sector.
Senator Sterle represents Western Australia in the Commonwealth Parliament and chairs the Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport References Committee and is deputy chair of Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport Legislation Committee.
“There are a lot of very responsible employers, but you cannot continue to demand lower rates for your freight movements,” the senator told the 2019 Supply Chain Safety Summit in Sydney.
“That is before we event start on Uber Freight,” he said.
“Amazon are on the public record – they’ve just done a contract with Heineken in Europe – where they have said proudly that they are disruptors. They will lose money for the next 10 years just so they can secure all these freight contracts.
“Well ladies and gentlemen, I’m not in government, but one thing I can promise you, I will fight tooth and nail, I don’t want Amazon in this nation in the trucking freight area. I don’t want Uber Freight.
“Are we seriously going to get on the website because you want a mattress delivered from Harvey Norman or you want a crate of tomatoes delivered somewhere and go on something like AirTasker and see just how cheap we can get the freight rates down?”
The Supply Chain and Safety Summit was organised by the Australian Logistics Council and the Australian Trucking Association.
Senator Sterle, a former truckie, also had some gentler words about the road against role conundrum.
“There is a role for rail, [but truck drivers] are the main movers of freight,” he said.
“We will continue to be the main movers of freight.”