Warwick's Ross Fraser at pinnacle of trucking in Australia
WITH more than 50 years in the livestock transport industry and numerous awards to his name including the Order of Australia medal, Ross Fraser OAM has put his all into not only improving his business, but the whole industry and on Friday night, that industry stood up and said thank you.
At the National Trucking Industry Association conference in Canberra, the Frasers Livestock Transport director received the industry's most prestigious award, for outstanding contribution to the trucking industry in Australia.
"It was a great night, alongside many prominent people in the trucking industry," Mr Fraser said.
"It's a huge honour to win this award.
"But there's no doubt that I couldn't have done what I've done in the industry without good people around me, it's their support and good work that makes it possible.
"My brothers Les and Peter, my immediate family and all of the staff at Frasers.
"And of course my wife Donna, who always gives great support and great help."
Mr Fraser said the catalyst for his later involvement in trucking industry associations took place in the late 1950s.
"I was boy and went along with Dad to a meeting in Dalby," he said.
"They wanted to start an association and Stan McIver of McIver Transport was the convenor that day.
"For one reason or another it didn't get off the ground and it wasn't until 1981 that the idea of an association gained momentum again.
"The meeting was in Roma and I took Dad this time, it got off the ground this time and the first elected president of the new Queensland Livestock Transporters Association was Stan McIver's son Bruce."
Mr Fraser said he took the view that if there were to be an industry association representing the Frasers business, it was in their best interest to be involved.
A few years later in 1986 Mr Fraser became president of the association.
"A bloke came up to me and said, 'You're only involved with this as president for what you can get out of it for your business'," Mr Fraser said.
"I replied, 'You've never spoken a truer word, but what I get for my business, you'll get for yours'."
A founding member, Mr Fraser said 100 people were at that meeting in 1981.
"That showed how much it had to happen, how badly it was needed" he said.
"Our industry needed a voice against bureaucratic government regulations.
"It turned out to be a great move and a very successful one. "
The first big win for the Queensland Livestock Transporters Association was convincing the Queensland government of the needs of the livestock transporting industry in relation to loading density.
The government introduced the livestock loading scheme, which saw trailer configurations introduced with standardised specifications for length, height and width.
"As long as manufacturer's specifications were not exceeded, we could now fill that trailer with livestock," Mr Fraser said.
"This idea is still in existence and successive governments has seen the need for such a guideline.
"It made the whole industry more efficient for both transporters and customers.
"This proved the benefit of having an organisation made up years of experience from right across the industry."
The Queensland association was the first of its kind in the country and led to the formation of a national body, on which Mr Fraser also served as president.