The TWU is demanding answers from Workplace Health and Safety Queensland, Queensland Police, the Minister and Department of Transport and Main Roads, and the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator as to what investigations have begun into Blenners Transport, the company involved in a double fatality last week.
The TWU has today written to all agencies requesting information about any investigations underway.
The horrific head-on crash involved two Blenners trucks which killed both drivers. It happened on the Kennedy Highway near Tichum Creek on September 13.
Blenners has written to the TWU Queensland Branch threatening legal action after the union called for an investigation into the crash last week. Blenners was in 2012 investigated over fatigue breaches. While 45 of its drivers were fined, all charges against the company were dropped last year.
“Our thoughts remain with family and friends left devastated after last week’s tragedy. This is being described as one of the worst crashes in Far North Queensland in years with emergency crews left stunned. There are reports of erratic driving before the incident happened. The community deserves answers and deserves to know that this crash is being treated seriously and investigated fully,” said TWU Queensland Branch Secretary Peter Biagini.
The TWU National Secretary Michael Kaine criticised as “bullying tactics”, the legal threat from Blenners.
“Blenners is trying to silence the community, threatening the TWU with legal action for daring to call for an investigation into last week’s horrific crash. This should prompt the authorities to step up their efforts to ensure a full and fair investigation so that any necessary action can be taken to ensure incidents like this do not happen again,” Kaine said.
The union also criticised the Federal Government for tearing down a road safety watchdog which could have spear-headed an inter-agency investigations into the crash.
“A crash of this seriousness warrants a transparent process which can look if necessary at what is it happening in the entire transport supply chain in order to ascertain the root causes. Sadly, a road safety watchdog which could have delivered this has been abolished by the Federal Government while our union is facing vexations claims for raising obvious questions,” Kaine added.
Judith Crosbie, 0432 552 895