Two directors and two managers of North Queensland transport company Blenners Transport yesterday faced 742 fatigue management charges in the Tully Courthouse.
The charges, brought against the company by the Department of Transport and Main Roads, come after an extensive investigation into forcing drivers to break laws and drive fatigued.
TWU State Secretary Peter Biagini said this was a perfect case where self-regulation does not work and that the need for the Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal to oversee the industry was evident.
‘Self-regulation has long been controversial, and when companies continue to flout the law because they believe they are only accountable to themselves, this is what happens,’ Peter said.
‘The safety of the public and the safety of these drivers are put at risk.’
‘The Australian Logistics Council, representatives of both Coles and Woolworths, have long argued against the Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal, stating they believe the voluntary code is sufficient and that companies do the right thing,’ Peter said.
The case against Blenners Transport shows just how much this is untrue.
‘This is a company who has long provided for both Coles and Woolworths, yet the moment these charges were laid Coles and Woollies drop them as their preferred supplier for cartage to the north.’
‘Blenners have been risking the lives of these truckies and the lives of all those who share the roads with them by pushing their drivers to work beyond their allowed 14 hours in a 24 hour period.’
‘There are too many deaths on our roads because of cases like this.’
‘This Blenners Transport story shows how much self-regulation and voluntary codes do no work, and why we need the Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal to lift standards and bring fairness to the industry.’
The next hearing date for company directors’ Les and Judith Blennerhassett, and managers John Law and Brett Peace, is set for 03 July 2014.
‘We will keep a close eye on what happens in the coming months,’ Peter said.
‘These charges have a been a long time coming and we do hope to see a vast improvement in the company.’