A united Western Australian effort is underway to tackle the state’s professional truck driver shortage.
The Western Roads Federation (WRF) and the Transport Workers Union (TWU) have linked in response to senator Glenn Sterle’s alarm at the dearth of drivers.
"The Western Australian economy is at risk as we face a growing shortage of professional truck drivers," they argue.
"If the shortage is not addressed the cost of living from food to fuel will rise.
"Whilst exporters will face significantly increased road supply chain costs and or shortages."
They see the driver shortage being felt at both the long haul and local delivery ends of the transport task by an ageing workforce and the so called "Amazon effect".
"Some companies are now reporting that the average age of their long haul drivers is nearly 60 and that they are struggling to find people to replace them," they add.
"The ‘Amazon effect’ already being felt in the US and now here in WA is due to the changing delivery patterns driven by e-commerce and changing consumer buying habits."
In response, the groups are organising a joint WA industry leaders summit to be held in Perth on June 15. Invitations will be sent out to industry leaders next week.
"We are united in our commitment to help finding and developing the solutions needed," TWU state secretary Tim Dawson and WRF chairman Craig Smith-Gander say in a joint statement.
"Furthermore we have asked senator Glen Sterle to chair the summit given his understanding and passionate commitment to the industry."
This is a major issue for WA, its people and its economy we need to find a solution.
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