TWU

Coles Risks Adelaide Lives

Release date: 20/03/2014

Transport Workers Union Assistant Secretary Michael Kaine today said a planned supermarket expansion in suburban Adelaide posed an extremely high risk of crashes involving semi-trailers and suburban vehicles, which could cost lives.

Dozens of truck drivers and their families will hold a candlelight vigil outside Norwood, Payneham and St Peters Town Hall tonight (7pm, 20/3), where Council is holding a special meeting to determine Coles’ application for a redeveloped Norwood Mall.
 
Mr Kaine said Coles’ expansion plans included more retail space, but fewer car spaces and a dangerously inadequate loading facility.
 
“Supermarket expansions are usually good news for drivers, but not this time,” Mr Kaine said.
 
“Independent assessment has found the loading facilities at Norwood are inadequate.
 
“Coles’ semi-trailers are likely to be forced to idle in adjoining roads, despite the presence of pedestrians, local traffic and nearby schools.
 
“Anyone will tell you, heavy vehicles and pedestrians simply don’t mix.
 
“Coles has cut every corner with this development. They’re massively expanding the site, but ignoring the loading facilities.
 
“More goods, more customers, more profits. But no more space for trucks.
 
“Truck drivers shouldn’t have to risk their own and other’s lives because Coles can’t be bothered to build proper facilities.
 
“Our plea to Coles today - don’t risk driver's lives. And don’t risk the lives of the people of Adelaide.
 
“Expand the supermarket by all means. But don’t put profits before safety.
 
“And Norwood Council – don’t approve this plan.”
 
Mr Kaine said Norwood Mall’s proposed design added to a woeful safety record for Coles, which routinely placed pressure on its drivers to meet unrealistic deadlines and to drive too fast or too long.
 
A 2012 Industry survey of the Coles supply chain showed:
 
- 46% of drivers feel pressure to skip rest breaks;
- 28% feel pressure to speed;
- 26% feel pressure to carry illegally overweight loads.
 
Truck driving is Australia’s most dangerous occupation, with a workplace fatality rate 15 times higher than the national average. More than 330 people die each year in truck-related crashes on Australian roads.


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