Australia First Appeals To Australia's Truck Owners And Drivers

The following is a speech delivered by a truckie and member of the Australia First Party in October 2008 at a meeting at St. Marys in Sydney. The speaker was a member of the National Shutdown Committee in July 2008. After his speech and other talks, some 35 truckies took out membership in Australia First.

Thank you for being here and I'll keep this as brief as I can. For those of you that were at the Monday and Tuesday meetings at Jamison Park you asked five of us to go and look at our options and we did and I'll explain all that we came up with and if you like it, the rest is up to you! Before I explain all of it please allow me to tell others that were not at those meetings the history. I would also like to thank the St Mary's RSL for allowing us to have this meeting here free of charge and all that they ask in return is for you to stay longer if you wish and enjoy their hospitality.

A BRIEF HISTORY Earlier this year a meeting was held in Toowoomba by people who work in the transport industry and from that a decision was made for an industry shut down for two weeks starting on the 28th of July. On that day many meetings were held throughout and the country and the two week stoppage failed; full stop, it failed, We achieved nothing! Here at Penrith though we were given an audience with the TWU and we also elected to put our grievances on a petition and return the next day to sign and distribute it for others to read and sign, to date approximately 320 plus signatures have been collected from that and still counting. We also asked five people to be our representatives and I am one of them.

On the 30th of August we were invited to The St Mary's Band Club by the TWU to listen at what they had to say, what they are doing and they gave us a small presentation about their safe rates scheme and their AGENDA. We left that meeting with the full knowledge that we were dealing with a two headed snake. So we looked at all our other alternatives and here we are today!

SO; this is not the first time that as an industry we have been forced to come together and fight the SYSTEM for our livelihood. We have been down this path before and had blockades, associations, lobby groups, disarray and disappointments before. Like it or not we have been manipulated by outside influences and by being divided we have been our own worst enemies. If you look at the public perception of us as drivers and our industry over the last thirty years, say from Razorback and onwards; and we STINK!

The Media and Politicians have made more mileage on the back of trucks than we have. The system has been winning! And we look at the Gay and Lesbian community for example and observe how they were able to turn public perception around in their favour to the point where it's celebrated every year at the Mardi Gras. And when we analyze it, in this perspective, we're not really smart; are we?

We have a lot against us really, the Media is only interested in sensationalizing the crashes, the speeding trucks, the drugs, the juggernauts on our highways the fatigue and the list is endless. They never tell the good stories because they don't sell! The Media has an AGENDA! The Politicians are only interested when the Media has pushed their AGENDA and then the Politicians jump on board and promote their political profile which is lacking in the polls and that's how we come to the political AGENDA. They also have another angle to work on for self promotion and this is the OH&S AGENDA! This has been catapulted under the heading of SAFETY and it's been such a successful tool at undermining your common sense and your own instinct of self preservation that we are now reluctant to speak up against it because it's politically incorrect to do so. But, it has been the best tool for personal, organizational, political and big business profiles. All these have an AGENDA riding the SAFETY TRAIN. Chain of responsibility, PPE, working at heights, pre-trip plans, green cards, blue cards, red cards, yellow cards, inductions, accreditations fatigue management, toolbox meetings and the list is endless! Don't get me wrong; a lot of it is nothing but good and applied with common sense is even better, but there is a limit.

It has been a most wonderful tool for AGENDAS! And via this safety directive we become pressured by politicians because it's good self promotion for them and it becomes a money maker for the government and every other parasite that jumps onboard via endless accreditations and a money loser for everyone else. Of course we pass these costs on to our customers when we can, who in turn look at cheaper alternatives.

Which, brings us to the BIG PLAYERS and their own AGENDA! Now the controllers of the railways and big enough to absorb the costs of OH&S, wanting to make more profit, but can't compete with small business efficiency. So they channel pressure via the Media and Politicians to push the safety barrow which in turn makes us too expensive and the rail cost effective. So finally; after all these years rail will become cheaper than road because of manipulation via political correctness. In other words; they are using the SYSTEM in their favour, for their AGENDA! And when you have this; you have POWER! So what options do we have?

We can have more meetings, talk, yell, disagree and leave no better off than when we started, been there done that and it didn't work. We can have another protest like Razorback or the two week stoppage but history shows us that it failed and another one will also. We can take our petition and give it to a politician and watch it go nowhere unless we make a lot of noise and follow it with more meetings and more noise, but let's be honest; who has the time? So that won't work.

We can take our petition start up another organization, throw money at it, establish offices, employ staff and then make noise. It's been done before and history shows us that personal promotion and personal AGENDAS usually make them implode, move on or get amalgamated with others and killed off. It is costly to all and time consuming to those who participate. It's what the SYSTEM wants, so that we become another association amongst many others going in different directions for the same reason, it doesn't make sense. We look like a set of bowling pins after they've been hit by the ball. It isn't going to work!

We can join the TWU, but history tells us, that for many of us, it has been less than honourable and they have people within their system that have personal AGENDAS riding the Unions AGENDA and neither are about us being heard. Don't get me wrong, there are a lot of good people within it but they are overpowered by AGENDAS that are not their own. They do have benefits though.

They are up and running, they have the people, the resources and the infrastructure and by joining them ours and their numbers increase. The negative side to this is that we aren't necessarily going to be listened too either. Membership is costly at a $30.00 joining fee and $526.60 annual fee or in other words a $30.00 joining fee and $10.12 a week and history once again shows us that little representation for O/D's and no representation for fleet owners, so that means that all of you who own a truck or trucks and employ people, this option is of no benefit or value for money. Instead of being our representatives they have chosen to be our conscience to promote their own AGENDAS.

The Union is connected to the Labor Party, with its own AGENDA and because of this, they won't go against Labor when they're in power! Problems might get solved but the process would be slow if it is against the unions AGENDA.

So at this point we are no better off than we were before the Toowoomba meeting unless we get smart and think outside of the box.

We are an industry with no strength because we have no political clout.

And, over here we have an ally in the shape of a political party trying for political clout by increasing its numbers and becoming heard. AUSTRALIA FIRST, is a nationalistic political party which is new and needs members to promote itself and we need political influence where it counts, hence, instead of repeating history and making the same mistakes, let's join the political party, form an alliance and promote it and bypass all the BULLSHIT AGENDAS and for the first time in history become an industry with influence and Australia First becomes the political party for the betterment of Australia and not just truck drivers.

Remember, that before we drove trucks and long after we stop driving trucks; we are all AUSTRALIANS. And the name Australia First says it all! Things won't happen overnight via this option, but it isn't going to happen any faster going with other options and having to stroke political, media and organizational EGO'S either. We have to hold hands with politics because if we don't the political machines in power and other AGENDAS will keep us suppressed and the Media will, with their AGENDA, continue to keep us in an undesirable public perception for their own benefit. We need Australia First and they need us, neither can achieve what we want without the other!

The benefits to this are, that no longer truck drivers and owners who are sick and tired of being screwed over by the system, but a group of people who have given themselves a voice at the top. And a political party that hasn't been able to get out there and tell people what it's all about, finally has the people for support.

We then eliminate all the other options and no longer have to stroke egos via lobbying. We now become independent!

The negatives to this are, that's it's going to cost you $10.00 to become a member. Donations and volunteering is an optional extra. And the media and other political parties will attack, to protect their own interests of course, but strength and support from one another will carry this through.

Join, promote and vote at the next elections, that's it. Because the SYSTEMS laws say that voting is compulsory, you now have something to vote for. So, in the scheme of things, who is important here, let's take control of our destiny and move forward, we have nothing to lose.

Ladies and gentlemen thank you, that's it. I've told you a story and what you do from here on is your CHOICE!

And if you want to learn more I'll introduce you to Dr Jim Saleam who has a doctorate in Political Science and drives Australia First here in NSW and he will tell you all about it and answer any questions you may have.