TWU

Authorities Must Investigate Barnett's Couriers After Latest Trucking Tragedy

Release date: 19/05/2016

TWU NSW MEDIA RELEASE, 19 May 2016
 
Transport Workers Union NSW Acting Secretary Richard Olsen has called on the authorities to launch a full investigation of Wollongong-based Barnett’s Couriers after the latest fatal crash involving a Barnett’s truck.

On Monday morning, a woman was killed after her vehicle was rear-ended by a Barnett’s Couriers truck. In 2014 another driver and grandson of the company founder was convicted of two counts of dangerous driving causing death after the deaths of two people.*
 
Mr Olsen said that Barnett’s had a history of unsafe practices and that this was not the first time this trucking company has put drivers and the community at risk.
 
“Our condolences and thoughts are with the families of those involved in this latest trucking tragedy,” Mr. Olsen said.
 
“While the causes of this tragic crash have not yet been clearly established by the authorities, this is a company with a terrible track record when it comes to adhering to safety standards put in place to safeguard truck drivers and everyone who shares the roads with them.
 
“Down the years, we have had a constant stream of complaints from drivers at Barnett’s in relation to site safety issues and problems with vehicles.”
 
Mr Olsen said that the company had been involved in a number of fatal crashes and police prosecutions down the years.
 
“This is the second fatality where a Barnett’s truck has hit a stationary vehicle and killed someone,” Mr Olsen said.
 
“We also know that another driver from Barnett’s is facing charges next month for serious breaches of his log book.
 
“We have repeatedly raised these safety issues with both SafeWork NSW and the RMS and its past time the authorities went through the place with a fine-tooth comb to make sure they are adhering to the safety guidelines put in place to save lives on our roads.”
 
Mr Olsen said that this latest tragedy was another reminder of the crisis in the road transport industry, and the need for real action from the Government.
 
“Twenty years of independent evidence*, coroners reports and cross party inquiries and has shown that there is a crisis in the transport industry and that economic pressures are a contributing factor,” Mr Olsen said.
 
“We need the Government and the authorities to get serious on this issue because the lives of truck drivers and everyone who share the roads with them are at stake.”

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