The threat of a possible blockade of Australia’s highways by the country’s truckers has been averted.

According to Associated Press reports, at a series of meetings across Australia over the weekend, members of the Long Distance Truck Owner-Drivers Association voted not to initiate the national blockade.
Association secretary Lyn Bennetts said the owner-operators would try to pressure freight firms for a better deal before taking other action. "We didn't think it would be fair to the general public, who have done nothing wrong," Bennetts told the AP.
Owner-drivers have been demanding better freight rates in a campaign that has been going on all year. The campaign intensified at the beginning of July when the GST, or Goods and Services Tax, cut rates back by 11 percent.
The federal government has funded efforts to develop a voluntary code of conduct for freight companies which employ owner-drivers, but the association, which represents a growing number of Australia’s 10,000 owner-operators, wants a mandatory code along with a change in the way freight rates are decided upon.
Bennetts said the association would continue to fight for better rates and conditions. "We will be putting pressure on the major freight firms," she said. "If we don't get what we want then we might have to consider more action."