Article by: Hari Yellina
Experienced livestock truck drivers who immigrated to Australia to fill labour shortages were dissatisfied with the length of time needed to obtain licences. Employers are currently in severe need of any suitable candidates; however seasoned overseas drivers are unable to operate a vehicle due to licencing requirements. Mark Thornton, a British cattle transporter with 18 years of experience, recently arrived in the nation on a working visa in search of employment in the sector.
In order to schedule a multiple combination heavy vehicle exam, he went to the Department of Transport headquarters in Perth. Mr. Thornton was issued a heavy rigid licence, preventing him from driving livestock transport vehicles, and was instructed to wait 12 months before he could sit his multiple combination licence. “It’s a modest victory, but we still need to see genuine structural change. The public is not at risk, and it is so simple to make “added Mr. Mitchell. He and Mr. Thornton are both asking for change because they could not believe how tough it was to get an experienced driver to take a licencing exam.
When you have people here who are prepared to do the job but won’t let them, Mr. Mitchell added, “It is kind of foolish, to be honest.” “What’s the difference between me taking a test now or in a year from now if I’ve been driving for 18 years?” added Mr. Thornton. No matter where they come from, Mr. Mitchell wants experienced drivers to be given preference. It really is a no-brainer, Mr. Mitchell said, “the last thing we want to do is put individuals on the road who aren’t safe and aren’t qualified.”
Jan Cooper, the chief executive of the Livestock and Rural Transport Association of Western Australia, is advocating to address the chronic labour shortage. She has requested a review of some of the licencing requirements established by the state government as well as the inclusion of rural truck drivers in the Australian Agricultural Visa that was announced last year. Right now, every motorist is significant to us, she said. “Why shouldn’t we be making that happen as rapidly as we can if you’ve got competent folks there who just need a minimum exam to get them over the line?” stated Ms. Cooper. What we need right now are some problem-solvers to sit down and acknowledge that the government needs to step in and help the industry solve this issue. Comments from the Department of Transportation has been requested.