Landmark research probing attitudes to the road freight sector has found that Australians almost universally regard it as an essential industry, and that almost four-in-ten will vote for a politician who is “truck-friendly”.
The National Road Transport Association study, conducted by independent consultants StollzNow Research, canvassed an online panel of 1000 people aged 18 and above.
Almost all Australians either strongly agree (68 percent) or agree (30 percent) that road freight is an essential industry. Only 2 percent disagree.
The research finds that 37 percent of Australians who will change their vote are likely or much more likely to support a Member of Parliament who supports the industry.
NatRoad Chairman Scott Davidson says his organisation undertook the landmark research to better understand public perceptions of road freight.
“Unsurprisingly since the pandemic, 99 percent of Australians regard road freight as an important part of the economy,” Mr Davidson said.
Accompanying focus group research underlined strong support for the road freight transportation industry from the general public.
“One thing that came across strongly is that people believe without trucks, Australia cannot function,” Mr Davidson said.
“COVID-19 has created a new awareness of the importance of the road freight industry. If trucks cannot deliver, people are inconvenienced and a sense of vulnerability and panic can set in.”
“The message we have been conveying to politicians before the recent Federal election is that the public supports people who support our industry,” Mr Davidson said.
“From a political perspective there is almost no downside in supporting the road freight industry. It will either increase votes or not change voting.
“In a marginal seat, supporting road freight could be the difference between winning and losing the seat.
The research shows that four-in-ten Australians personally know someone who is a truck driver.