QLD FATAL FUEL TANKER TRAGEDY – TWU DEMANDS ACTION


Following the fatal fuel tanker crash in Pittsworth yesterday, The Transport Workers’ Union of QLD has warned that any attacks on the pay and conditions of truck drivers will result in more road deaths, and that now is the time to act to legislate for safety on our roads.

“The TWU extends our solidarity and support to the truck driver’s family,” TWU QLD Secretary Peter Biagini said.

“Every time this happens it makes the TWU fight harder against the economic pressures causing fatal accidents that should not have to happen, and the large retail giants at the top of the supply chain who won’t take responsibility.”

“The link is well proven between cuts in pay and conditions in the transport industry and deaths on the road when trucks crash due to drivers being forced to drive longer hours fighting off sleep or drive trucks that are not maintained mechanically.”

This was a single vehicle crash with no other cars involved. The truck left the road and rolled at 4.25am.

“This driver was working in Oil Fuel and Gas sector – the most dangerous sector of Australia’s most dangerous industry, the transport industry where workers are 15 times more likely to be killed than in other occupations,” Mr Biagini said.

“Only the most professional and experienced drivers work in the Oil Fuel and Gas sector and we pay our respects to this man and his family.”

Australia’s Road Safety watchdog, the Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal (RSRT), was set up to address the causes behind the hundreds of truck crash deaths each year.

One of the key areas the RSRT is focusing on is the Oil Fuel and Gas sector.

The Liberal government, which has accepted over $2.1 million in donations from retail giant Coles, is threatening to axe the RSRT.

Throughout the wider trucking sector it is economic pressure from large Clients such as Coles at the top of the supply chain which force smaller companies to cut costs down the supply chain resulting in these safety hazards.

“It has been proven time after time, with the latest report coming out of Safe Work Australia – that truck drivers are already forced to drive longer and faster to meet unrealistic deadlines and skimp on truck maintenance to make ends meet due to economic pressure.

A recent report by Safe Work Australia* shows that one in five transport industry employers break safety rules to meet deadlines, compared to just 6% of employers in other industries; and 20% of employers accept dangerous behaviour to get the job done.

The TWU has called on the QLD community to join the union in fighting to save the Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal so our children and grandchildren can be safe on the road.

Media Contact: Tanie Harris Sansey 0411 875 910
Media Opportunity: TWU officials available for comment

*Transport Industry, Synthesis of Findings, Report July 2015 by Safe Work Australia

Background:

Fatal traffic crash, Pittsworth
Sep 1, 2015 – at 8-25am
A man has died following a single vehicle traffic crash on the Gore Highway near Pittsworth this morning.

Initial investigations suggests the fuel tanker was about 7km south west of Pittsworth when it left the road and rolled about 4.25am.

The driver and sole occupant of the vehicle, a 62-year-old Goondiwindi man, died at the scene.

The Gore Highway remains closed to traffic at the site of the crash with signed detours and traffic control in place.

The detours are expected to be in place for several hours while the Forensic Crash Unit investigates the crash and emergency services contain a diesel spill that occurred off the road.

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