Horan accuses Q-Link of using defective trucks

Queensland government-run transport company Q-Link accused of jeopardising road safety by using defective trucks

By Brad Gardner | April 15, 2010

The government-run transport company Q-Link has been accused of risking road safety and may have potentially breached fatigue management laws.

Liberal-National Party (LNP) MP Mike Horan claims Q-Link is sending trucks onto Queensland’s Warrego Highway despite knowing they are defective. Horan claims one vehicle had gearbox problems, a leaking airbag, faulty fuel gauge and a seat in disrepair.

"Despite those defects, a driver was ordered to drive that truck from Toowoomba to Roma and return," Horan says, adding that another truck used on the same route had a broken bullbar and cracked windscreen.

He says one driver worked for more than 17 hours without paid overtime. Even in exceptional circumstances, drivers under advanced fatigue management (AFM) cannot work more than 16 hours. They must also take extra time off the following day if they work that long.

"This situation is absolutely intolerable," Horan says.

"I call on the minister for transport to immediately put an end to this dangerous situation. We have to consider the safety of the drivers, the safety of the families and the other drivers and users of that road."

The driver of the truck with a faulty fuel gauge was left stranded because the fuel filter leaked.

"So in the early hours of the morning, between Oakey and Dalby, the truck ran out of fuel," Horan says.

He says the driver was not collected until 9am the next day because the truck did not have a communications system.

Labelling the problems "deplorable" and a "disgrace", Horan says Transport Minister Rachel Nolan must take action.

ATN has contacted Nolan’s office for comment but is yet to receive a response.

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