A FEDERAL inquiry into the road transport and freight sector is set to occur, after the Senate this week voted to conduct one.

Opposition Labor transport spokesman Glenn Sterle said the terms of reference were months in the making and came from desperation from an industry under pressure.

“We now have a unique opportunity to look into every aspect of the transport sector so that we can inform the government, through the committee’s final report of what needs to change in order to make our industry safe and sustainable,” Senator Sterle said.

“This inquiry will be far reaching and all-encompassing and I encourage anyone who is interested in or who is affected by the transport and freight industry to make a submission to the committee.”

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Senator Sterle criticised the federal government for, in his words, doing “everything it could to stop this inquiry from getting up”.

“This raises serious concerns about the vested interests that the government is conniving with at the top of the supply chain,” he said.

News of the inquiry was welcomed by the Victorian Transport Association chief executive Peter Anderson.

“Australian and international supply chains experience ongoing change which has material impacts on freight and logistics operators, the businesses that supply them, and of course the transport workers they employ,” Mr Anderson said.

“Government has an important role to play in ensuring we have the right legislative and regulatory frameworks in place to anticipate and overcome existing and future challenges which is why we welcome this important road transport industry inquiry. “The inquiry will contribute to the maintenance of a viable and sustainable transport industry, which is what VTA members and supporters need to be able to confidently invest in their businesses and put more Australians to work in transport.”

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