Foreign truck drivers "downright dangerous"

September 2007, Northern Star

TRENT DAFONSECA can't understand why anyone would consider shipping in overseas truckies to work in Australia when there are perfectly capable drivers already here and looking for work.

Like himself, for example.

Mr Dafonseca said he had spent about three months looking for a new job in the industry, but had so far failed to find a position; something he blames at least partly on his insistence on safe working conditions and adherence to the law.

Any move to extend the controversial 457 Working Visa to include the transport industry would make it even harder for Mr Dafonseca and others like him to secure a job.

More importantly, Mr Dafonseca, of Lismore, said the move would compromise the safety of everyone on the road.

People whose jobs and ability to even stay in Australia was dependent on the sponsorship of an employer would be less able to resist pressure to bend rules to meet unrealistic deadlines.

A Federal report on the 457 Visa system is expected to recommend rejecting a request from the transport industry that the system be expanded to include truck drivers.

However, the Transport Workers' Union remains so concerned it will tonight hold a public forum on the issue at the Lismore City Hall.

The union has been campaigning against the extension of the visas, which senior official Mark Crosdale described as "downright dangerous".

"Already at least three workers brought over to Australia on the 457 Visa have been killed," Mr Crosdale said. "If the same easily-exploitable foreign labour was brought over here to drive trucks, there would be disastrous consequences.

"You simply can't bring over cheap workers to drive 50-tonne trucks and not expect carnage. Vulnerable drivers are dangerous drivers." ...


Anonymous said...

Its all about cheap labour. Now everyone knows why there was the white australia policy -nothing about racism but to maintain working and lving standards.

Anonymous said...

What happens if a foreigner such as a Canadian or American with 25 years trucking experience wants to come and work in he also considered to be a dangerous driver??? Some people are just too quick to judge.....racism on a different level. As far as standards go our laws are a hell of a lot stricter over here than they are down under. I dont recall Captain Kangaroo checking log books every 50 miles.

Abandon Skip said...

Provided it is in Australia's economic interest to bring in foreign truck drivers, and they are not taking jobs from local Australians, then I have no problem allowing truck drivers from Canada. So long as they are white and not Muslim. Discrimination is prudence these days - just like it used to be.

Anonymous said...

I tried getting a sponsorship to drive Road Trains in Australia - I even took a course in Adelaide and obtained an MC License, and with 12 years of experience with B-Doubles in Canada, and working on the Ice Road hauling fuel for 3 years, the government still considered me 'Unskilled Labour'
What nonsense ... there are plenty of quality foreign drivers working in Canada, why not OZ?