Master Carriers AssociationQld Road Transport AssociationQueensland Trucking Association

The movement of freight by road has always played an important role in building the Queensland economy. From the early days of horse and cart through to today's technically advanced trucks, the Queensland Trucking Association Ltd continues a strong presence and unified voice in the development of the industry.

We are proud to share the history of our Association commencing back in 1907 at the Master Carriers Association.

1907 - Mid 1924 - Master Carriers Association of Brisbane

The establishment of the Master Carriers Association and the movement from the horse drawn freight era to the pre-war motor vehicle would be the focus including the existence of the Carriers Ranks and inner city waterfront activity. 

1924 - Mid 1950's - Master Carriers Association of Queensland

The Master Carriers Association of Brisbane merged with the Master Carriers Association of Maryborough to form the Master Carriers Association of Queensland.  The focus of this period would be the "Jackson Story" with the Road Transport Industry playing a critical role in major project development e.g. Moonie Pipeline and Story Bridge as well as the general freight task and the development of trucks to meet the task. 

Mid 1950's - 1976

This period reflects the growth of Mayne Nickless and innovation in the freight task. This period for road transport within Queensland includes such milestones as:

  • Opening of the Road Network including beef roads
  • A focus on "bulk" freight as a way of doing business e.g. fuel - drums to tankers; grain - bags to tippers
  • Vehicle dimension and vehicle mass development
  • The opening of competition with rail
  • The debate over road maintenance tax and "Plates" linked to specific freight routes
  • The growth in over dimension/heavy haulage to meet the demands of the mining industry and oil/gas exploration
  • The introduction of containerisation into the waterfront import/export task

1976 - 2000 - Queensland Road Transport Association

 An era which signalled a stronger blend of State and National Issues and recognised in the following:

  • Repealed QLD Goods Hire license (December 1991)
  • Special Premiers Conference - NRTC formation
  • The birth of the Australian Trucking Association (ATA)
  • Recognition of the need for uniformity in regulation
  • Industry accreditation - TruckSafe - Queensland role - removing large numbers of permits
  • Safety as a driver in political lobby e.g. on road, driver health, vehicle design
  • Recognition of a quality industry playing a significant economic role but recognising environmental responsibility and community amenity responsibility

2000-2007 - Queensland Trucking Association Limited

  • 2005 Phasing in of the Federal Governments new Industrial Relations Laws
  • Continuation of Transport and Logistics Career Forum’s successful School Based Training Program
  • Registered Training Organisation Logistics Training School was wound up.
  • Director's Peter Thompson and Graham Richers retired from the Board.
  • 2006 Advocacy focused on ensuring regulators commit to nationally consistent regulation, with as little duplication of responsibilities and complication in compliance as possible.
  • WorkChoices legislation changed the mix of services required and a considerable market remained for the implementation and renewal of Workplace Agreements.  Presented briefings on WorkChoices Legislation around the State.
  • Welcomed Travis Degen as our Employment Relations Manager replacing Pat Knight.
  • On a National level the QTA continued as a strong and active supporter of the Australian Trucking Association since it’s inception as the Road Transport Forum in the early 1990’s.  Board Member David Simon and CEO Peter Garske were both very active in the policy development processes of the ATA as well as ensuring the needs and views of Queensland Operators are heard within ATA Council and Board of Management.
  • 2007 Conducted regional tour throughout the State to celebrate our Centenary
  • Change to a Federal Labour Government bought hope of nationally consistent Road Transport Reforms would become more achievable. Operator frustration with the lack of support or acceptance by some Local Governments for productivity improving reforms implemented at the State level.
  • More cohesive Council came into place and planned dialogue on freight strategy, including improved access for more productive vehicles took place.
  • Tim Knowles stepped down as President after three years.

QTA Ltd 100 Year Centenary Video - watch here

2008-2016 - Queensland Trucking Association Limited

  • New QTA President elected - Tim Squires
  • Responded to policy and legislative change impacting on transport policy, economic policy and environmental policy required detailed responses by the Secretariat working with the established Policy Groups drawn from the ATA Council.
  • Association’s representative on the ATA Council, David Simon, was elected to the ATA Board of Management
  • Worked with Government on infrastructure priority and transport policy focused on delivering efficiency


Policy debate occurred at a State and National level on:

  • the application of the Chain of Responsibility provisions in Road Law;
  • the application of the Heavy Vehicle Fatigue Management and Driving Hours Package;
  • continued negotiation with Government to deliver their Heavy Vehicle Rest Areas improvement and expansion program;
  • supporting the Queensland Government in seeking the role of host of the previously endorsed National Heavy Vehicle Regulator, a decision confirmed in March this year by the Federal Minister;
  • contributing to the policy debate on a National Heavy Vehicle Licensing and Registration Scheme;
  • maintaining commitment to a Zero Harm at Work philosophy and strategy within the Workplace Health & Safety regulatory framework;
  • advocating the early introduction of Chain of Responsibility provisions associated with a compliance and enforcement strategy to discourage speeding trucks.  This legislation was introduced to State Parliament in March 2010.

Long standing Directors retired from the Board.  Ray Taylor, first elected in 1993 and served as President 1996 to 1999 (17 years of service).  Tony Conlon, Director since 1989 and President from 1993 to 1995 (21 years of service).  Phil Russell was first appointed a Director in March 1977, served as President from 1990 to 1993 (33 years of service)


  • Celebrated 10 years of support from Freighter Maxi-Cube Queensland, Volvo Commercial Vehicles Brisbane, TWU Super Fund, Cummins South Pacific and National Transport Insurance as Platinum Partners. 
  • Key issues during the year included: review of the heavy vehicle pricing arrangements, the establishment of the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator, the introduction of Chain of Responsibility provisions in the law associated with the infringement of speeding heavy vehicles and the heavy vehicle driver fatigue management review in particular the resolution of the counting of hours fiasco.
  • Advocacy on road and off road safety outcomes, the regulatory framework, skill development, road funding and the Employment Law framework, through participation on a range of Council’s, Advisory Groups, Boards and Committees. 


  • Represented the industry at all stages of the drafting of legislation which we now know as the Road Safety Remuneration Bill and the introduction by the Federal Government of the Road Safety Remuneration Act followed.
  • Contributed to National submissions to the Minimum Wage Review Panel, the Review of the Fair Work Act, the Modern Award Review and the Federal Government focus on the obligations of Industry based Superannuation Funds.
  • Mark Webb assumed the role of Treasurer in 2011 following a period of stewardship led by Tony Mullen
  • Welcomed the support of the Office for Women, Department of Communities in sponsoring our inaugural Queensland Trucking Woman of the Year Award.
  • Tim Squires stepped down from the President's role
  • Appointment of new Membership Service Manager, Lisa Acret


  • Federal Parliament debated the Road Safety Remuneration Bill which eventually passed into Law.  Subsequently, our Immediate Past President Tim Squires was appointed to the Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal Tim Squires,  QTA took a lead role in the development of ARTIO submissions and draft orders before the Tribunal. 
  • David Simon and Craig Luxton retired from the Board along with Directors Rick Soole and Peter Brown who resigned their positions
  • David Simon appointed as Chair of the Australian Trucking Association


  • Establishment of the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator based in Brisbane
  • Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal, the Road Transport and Distribution and Long Distance Operations Road Safety Remuneration Order 2014, issued in December 2013 would take effect from 1st May 2014.
  • Contributed to the ARTIO submission to the Review of the Road Safety Remuneration System being undertaken by the Federal Government. 
  • David Simon completed four years at the Chair of the ATA. Tim Knowles was appointed to the ATA Board of Management in 2013.
  • Directors Melissa Taylor and Wayne Striplin retired from the Board


  • Successful tender by QTA to the Department of Employment Training and Education for the Provision of Industry Intelligence relating to workforce development and skills requirements of our Industry.  The first phase of this project provided research in the Transport and Logistics Industry to a level not previously undertaken.
  • Lead role in the development of ARTIO submissions before the Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal. 
  • Actively represent its members through participation on ATA policy committees, interaction with the National Transport Commission, involvement with the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator and our continuous presence at many levels within the Department of Transport and Main Roads, notably the Road Freight Industry Council.
  • CEO was reappointed to Queensland’s Workplace Health & Safety Board.
  • Warren Woods stepped down from the role of QTA President and Roz Shaw as Vice President. Tim Knowles performed role as Acting President leading up to AGM in 2015.


  • The future of the Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal was uncertain which ultimately lead to the abolishment in April 2015.  QTA through its entity ARTIO was active in advocacy before the Tribunal throughout the past three years. 
  • Key achievement by the Queensland Government was the establishment of the Ministerial Freight Council. 
  • Undertook work that lead to the launch of the Queensland’s Heavy Vehicle Safety Action Plan - Delivering Heavy Vehicle Safety Solutions Together.
  • Supported the work of TLI Connect a dedicated unit within Transport and Main Roads to assist industry in workforce development.
  • Successful in a tender to the Department of Education and Training to deliver a Vocational Education and Training Industry Education Program through to 2016
  • CEO Peter Garske announced earlier in the year that he had tendered his resignation after 20 years of service. 
  • Ben Almond voted in as President of the QTA, Julie Russell as Vice President.  Gavin Swan retired as a Director on the Board


  • Transition from our long term CEO Peter Garske to Gary Mahon being appointed in this role.  As a trusted navigator in the transport industry and combined with his open engagement style, made him a strong advocate for facilitating innovative changes for the road freight industry in Queensland and Nationally.  Spending a large part of his career in senior executive positions within the Queensland Department of Transport and Main Roads, Gary has a proven reputation for positively influencing Heavy Vehicle Industry reform.   
  • A new set of priorities was developed with early activity seeing a strong growth in membership along with Commercial Partners at a Platinum and Silver level.  Staffing levels were increased in member services to bolster member support
  • Achieved a very good result with the Market Led proposal undertaken by Transurban for the Logan Motorway Enhancement proposal where over $500 million will be spent in congestion relieving infrastructure improvements.
  • Professional advocacy continued to ensure this industry is treated reasonably by Government in the tolling for the Toowoomba Second Range Crossing and the Inner City Bypass / Legacy Way / Clem Jones initiative.
  • Held successful delivery of Chain of Responsibility Critical Incident Management workshops.


First ever female President elected in Julie Russell (Russell Transport), Vice President Paul Kahlert (All Purpose Tranpsort) and Treasurer Tracie Dickenson (Daryl Dickenson Transport)

Priorities included:

  • Freight networks and infrastructure; (e.g. bridge investments and HML network coverage)
  • Innovation and efficiency; (e.g. championing the adoption of higher productivity vehicles)
  • Partnerships between industry and government; (e.g. DET/VET engagement and Logan Enhancement Project).  This is a key area of focus for us in 2018 also.
  • Unreasonable cost of economic regulation; (permit management by government – decision making, timelines etc) and
  •  Improving the membership experience (reaching more members, more often and being more responsive to issues like permits, access, ATO meal claim arrangements, differential tolling to name a few).

Increased our influence, by realising tangible benefits to members and heading off a number of proposals that would have unduly influenced our businesses.  This has saw the Association attract additional members, sponsors and industry partners.  Our membership grew by 15% and industry partnerships by 40%


Key focus areas:

1. Drive for Change

  • Independent review of the Heavy Vehicle National Law (HVNL) commenced
  • QTA CEO appointed to the Expert Panel
  • Advocating for an alternative Mass Distance Charging model
  • Shaped conversation around the country to encourage a review of fatigue laws 

2. Innovation and Efficiency

  • A-Doubles now under notice up to 85t from Toowoomba to the Port of Brisbane
  • Additional 400km of major road network for A-Doubles under Higher Mass Limits (HML)
  • Commencement of fatigue technology trial “Heavy Vehicle Safety Around Ports Project”

3. Future Workforce Capability

  • QTA “Putting it on Paper” Chain of Responsibility Workshops -> 20+ locations QLD, WA, VIC
  • QTA Emerging Leaders Program – Partnership with Daimler Truck and Bus Australia
  • Industry Skills Advisor Contract extension – Vocation Education and Training: input to review and establishment of T&L qualifications
  • Funding – DigiT&L Futures Project: support industries impacted by digital disruption, providing cross skill or up training options

4. Growth and Viability

  • Membership growth for 2018 – 12%
  • Industry Partner growth for 2018 – 60%

5. Relationships and Partnerships

Representation on key committees and industry reference groups

Successful bids for funding projects from:

  • Department of Education, Training, Department of Employment
  • Department of Employment, Small Business and Training (DESBT)
  • Department of State Development
  • Safe Work Australia
  • National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR)