TWU Tells NSW Government To Clean Up Tip Truck Industry

Release date: 24/06/2016

Transport Workers’ Union NSW Acting Secretary Richard Olsen has said the NSW Government needs to stand up for mum and dad tip truck drivers who are being squeezed out of the industry by dodgy operators in dodgy trucks.

Mr Olsen was speaking after authorities caught a Queensland tip truck driver near Coffs Harbour driving a truck with multiple serious defects, including a tampered engine module allowing speeds of up to 134kph. According to the police report, the driver also tested positive for methylamphetamine.
“Dangerously low rates, cowboy operators and a total lack of regulation in the tip truck industry are a ticking time bomb,” Mr Olsen said.

“Mum and dad tip truck drivers who play by the rules are being run out of business by dodgy operators.
“These dodgy operators tender at rock bottom prices to win the work and then cut corners on safety, maintenance and fatigue to balance the books.”
Tip Truck owner driver Phil Ramondino said that it was getting harder and harder for operators who play by the rules to secure work.
“When I cost a job for a client, my price includes the cost of safely maintaining my truck, properly dealing with the waste material and never overloading.  But relentless demands from head contractors has led some dodgy operators to undercut minimum rates and then stay profitable by breaking all the rules,” Mr Ramondino said.
“It’s a recipe for disaster and it’s driving us good folks who play by the rules out of business.”
Mr Olsen said that head contractors and the NSW Government were often just as culpable as the dodgy operators.
“We’re blue in the face from telling the NSW Government that the construction transport industry is like the Wild West, with no enforcement of safety standards and a total lack of auditing of operators.”
“Head contractors and the NSW Government know that there are minimum costs to do the job safely, yet they continue to turn a blind eye and put the community at risk.
“They give work to shonky operators who bid at rock bottom prices. They know full well that in order to stay profitable these guys will ignore safety regulations, overload or not properly maintain their vehicles.
“We need some backbone from the NSW Government to finally crack down on these mobs.”

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