INDUSTRY is mourning former Port of Melbourne chairman and transport industry doyen Peter Rocke who passed away this week.

The council and secretariat of the Victorian Transport Association issued a statement paying him tribute.

“As chairman of the Port of Melbourne for several years, Peter was heavily involved in reform at the waterfront in the 1990s, and as a skilled industrial relations specialist he was always available to offer advice and support,” said VTA chief executive Peter Anderson.

“We offer our deepest condolences to Peter’s wife Ann and their children and extended family on the loss of one of our industry’s finest servants.”

Mr Anderson noted his role in helping others.

“Peter mentored many people in the transport industry and did a lot of work to raise the working and safety standards for sub-contractors and owner-drivers,” he said.

Mr Rocke served as president of what is now the VTA in 1987 when the group was then known as the Victorian Road Transport Association.

He was also heavily involved in related industry groups and spent much of his working life advocating for better conditions for freight operators through his involvement with the VTA, the Australian Trucking Association, the Road Transport Federation and the National Freight Forwarding Association.

He worked in several senior roles with Mayne Nickless including Victorian operations manager, general manager of international operations, director of operations and regional director, Victoria and Tasmania.