WARTA backs strong action against offenders


Western Australian Road Transport Association (WARTA) CEO Ian King has praised the sentencing of a truck driver for trying to transport more than 6kgs of cannabis into Perth, saying most transport operators want the right thing done in their companies. <br /><br /> Andrew Minarsky, 49, was sentenced to 18 months in jail in Perth’s District Court yesterday after pleading guilty to possessing a prohibited drug with intent to supply or sell.

Ruza Zivkusic-Aftasi | March 7, 2012

Western Australian Road Transport Association (WARTA) CEO Ian King has praised the sentencing of a truck driver for trying to transport more than 6kgs of cannabis into Perth, saying most transport operators want the right thing done in their companies.

Andrew Minarsky, 49, was sentenced to 18 months in jail in Perth’s District Court yesterday after pleading guilty to possessing a prohibited drug with intent to supply or sell.

He was stopped by police on April 8 last year while driving from Adelaide to Perth, with officers uncovering 6.337kg of the drug hidden in a tool box in his truck.

The driver of 20 years admitted transporting cannabis into WA on 20 other occasions but insisted he had never sold the drug.

"The most important thing is that he (the driver) deserves what he gets – it’s an illegal act and it doesn’t matter what his personal views are, it’s illegal and they should throw the full weight of law at him," King says.

"We have been going around the bush in the last couple of weeks emphasising the importance of compliance and enforcement because our legislation is due to come out very shortly."

King, who last week held information sessions in Bunbury and Albany about chain of responsibility and fatigue laws, has been talking to operators about last month's police raid on Sydney’s Lennons Transport Services.

WARTA has been using the Lennons case as an example of how things can go wrong and the effect that this can have "particularly to the good name of the transport industry".

Many transport operators are in favour of strong enforcement and understand that those who take shortcuts will be caught, King says.

"Are they prepared to lose their business? No, they’re not.

"I think it’s well controlled, the companies are very much aware that they cannot push their drivers beyond their fatigue."

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