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Morrison’s Idea For Kids To Drive Forklifts Laughed Out Of National Cabinet

Morrison’s idea for kids to drive forklifts laughed out of National Cabinet

Scott Morrison’s proposal to allow children to drive forklifts has been laughed out of National Cabinet today.

True to form, Morrison leaked his latest idea to the media prior to today’s meeting of state and territory leaders.

The Prime Minister is desperate to ease pressure on supply chains as factories struggle to find staff not isolating with COVID-19.

The mess comes as a result of Morrison’s and NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet’s disastrous decision to ignore health experts and remove all restrictions to “open up” the economy.

Neither foresaw, let alone planned for, the surge in infected workers and the subsequent impact it would have on the economy – in addition to Morrison’s failure to ensure adequate supplies of Rapid Antigen Tests.

The Queensland, Victorian and New South Wales governments confirm they have no plans to lower the current age of 18 for forklift drivers.

Scott Morrison’s proposal to allow children to operate forklifts has been widely mocked.

Crippled supply chains

The Guardian reports Morrison wanted to further reduce regulation in the transport sector to ease the staffing crisis.

Absent COVID-19 affected workers have crippled supply chains stripping supermarket shelves of products as a result.

“There are other changes that need to be made and they’re at a state level, and I’m continuing to pursue those with the states,” Morrison said.

“There are changes that we need to make around the age of forklift drivers, to get quite specific.”

Special training and licence required

Forklift drivers require a special “high risk work” licence.

It involves sitting for a specialised course and then successfully completing a practical test. Only those 18 and over are eligible to qualify.

Morrison refused to nominate a new age minimum instead of 18.

Morrison’s idea mocked

Unions criticised the proposal, noting forklifts are dangerous machines that require skilled operation.

Godfrey Moase from the United Workers Union said he had seen “a couple of fatalities” involving forklifts during his time as a union official.

“It’s as dangerous or can be as dangerous as a motor vehicle,” he said.

“You’re driving … a piece of heavy equipment that can cause severe trauma injuries to people on impact.”

He said the age should not be reduced.

“It’s a piece of heavy machinery that needs to be treated with due care and respect,” he said.

Many current and former forklift drivers took to Twitter to express their shock and dismay over Morrison’s bizarre proposal.

State governments also surprised

State governments expressed surprise at the proposal – for example, Victorian premier Daniel Andrews.

“I’m always up for new ideas and being creative, but I’ve had two meetings these last two Mondays with supermarket CEOs and they haven’t suggested that,” Andrews said.

Meanwhile, the Queensland and ACT governments have introduced industrial manslaughter charges.

The first conviction under the new law happened in 2020. It involved a man crushed between a forklift operated by an unlicensed driver and a stationary truck.

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They are not dodgem cars

Furthermore, Tim Lyons, who conducted the review that resulted in the industrial manslaughter laws, said that “letting kids whizz around on forklifts is insane”.

“They are not dodgem cars,” he said in a Twitter post.

“The kids are very likely to kill or injure themselves or someone else.”

New South Wales also says no

Finally, a spokesperson for NSW’s minister for customer service and digital government, Victor Dominello, also rejected the proposal.

“At this stage, NSW has no plan to change the current law,” they said.

This afternoon’s National Cabinet subsequently rejected Morrison’s proposal to lower the age of forklift drivers.

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