ATA welcomes Julie Russell appointment to NHVR board

The Australian Trucking Association (ATA) has today welcomed the appointment of Julie Russell to the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator board.

The ATA and its member associations collectively represent the 50,000 businesses and 200,000 people in the Australian trucking industry. Together, we are committed to safety, professionalism and viability.

Ms Russell is a director and third generation family member actively working in Russell Transport with 15 years’ experience in the family’s road transport business. In 2014, Ms Russell was named Queensland Trucking Association Woman of the Year and National Trucking Industry Woman of the Year in 2015. Ms Russell is also Chair of the ATA’s Skills and Workforce Committee.

ATA Vice Chair David Smith said the appointment of Ms Russell reflects the ATA’s argument that the NHVR board should include representatives with real industry experience.

“The ATA has always believed in the need to have an industry representative on the NHVR board,” Mr Smith said.

“Throughout her career and in her role as an ATA and TruckSafe director, Julie has actively worked on numerous committees and boards within the road transport industry to provide a medium sized family business perspective to policy proposals, training standards, industry awareness programs and similar initiatives that arise in the ever-changing landscape of the industry.

“The appointment highlights the need for the corporate governance provisions in the Heavy Vehicle National Law to be redone.

“There is no legal requirement for the board of the NHVR to include even a single member with trucking industry experience. This has to change,” he said.

In the ATA’s submission on risk-based regulation to the review, we argued that the NHVR board should be increased from five to nine members, and that at least two of those members should have recent experience operating a truck or bus business, either as a director or as an employee.

Ms Russell this week announced her retirement from the TruckSafe board of directors, a position she has held since 2016.

“Julie has our full support, and I thank her for service to TruckSafe,” Mr Smith said.

“Julie is highly qualified for this new role and I have the highest confidence that she will make a positive contribution by adding industry knowledge and expertise to the board,” he said.

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