Major truck safety concerns ahead, says TWU Qld

Photography by: Brad Gardner

Unmaintained truck and fatigue numbers are set to increase on Queensland roads due to moves to set up a privatised self-regulated system

Major truck safety concerns ahead, says TWU Qld
TWU Qld State Secretary Peter Biagini

The Transport Workers Union Queensland branch says, despite the maintenance wake-up call the Cootes Transport truck disaster had on the industry, the Queensland Government has now pulled Transport Inspector funding from the Department of Transport and Main Roads with a plan to move the State to a privatised self-regulated system.

The TWU is concerned the self-regulated system will result in dodgy companies out to make a quick dollar will scratch the back of those companies and help delay vehicle maintenance while pushing fatigued drivers to go further.

"Effectively, the decision by Deputy Prime Minister to palm off reasonability onto the State Government, who is now privatising the system, will result in more unmaintained and defected trucks, overweight loads and fatigued drivers on our roads, not the other way round," Queensland TWU State Secretary Peter Biagini says.

"This will affect the safety of our drivers."

"If our 20 years of surveying truck drivers in the lead up to the introduction of the Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal tells us anything, it’s that companies already delay truck maintenance and push drivers to break fatigue laws to keep the wheels turning and the money rolling in."

"Both the Deputy Prime Minister and the Queensland Government’s decision to palm off responsibility and pull funding is dangerous and will take our road safety backwards," Biagini says.

"Sadly, 330 people die in truck related crashes each year on Australian roads."

‘Now in Queensland, we will have less vehicle inspectors, inspection sites and weigh bridges, which ultimately means those companies who already undercut the industry will now pressure their drivers and their trucks to push harder and further, because they know they will have a good chance of getting away with it."

"Only last year was Linfox caught out with a dodgy heavy vehicle trainer who was taking kickbacks for handing out licenses – is this what we can expect, but with maintenance on trucks," Biagini says.

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