Blenners directors charged over alleged COR and fatigue breaches


Upcoming court appearances follow 45 Blenners drivers pleading guilty to fatigue-related offences

Blenners directors charged over alleged COR and fatigue breaches
Blenners Transport managers are facing chages

The Queensland Government is taking directors and managers of large North Queensland trucking company Blenners Transport Pty Ltd to court.

The Department of Transport and Main Roads says the charges are against the Tully-based produce carrying company, two of its directors and two managers.

"Complaints are currently listed for mention in the Magistrates Court at Tully on 6 March," an email from the Department to ATN says.

"These complaints relate to 742 charges, including chain of responsibility offences, breaching the requirements of an improvement notice and breaching the Basic Fatigue Management Accreditation conditions."

The Department would not say if company owner Les Blennerhassett is one of those charged.

The move follows actions against 45 Blenners drivers over a range of fatigue-related offences.

"After an intensive investigation, Transport and Main Roads instituted proceedings against a large number of drivers," the email says.

"Forty-five drivers who worked for Blenners Transport at the time of the offences have now pleaded guilty to more than 148 fatigue-related offences."

More than $65,000 in fines were imposed by the courts on the drivers.

These fines were mentioned in last night’s ABC Four Corners program on fatigue and maintenance issues in the trucking industry.

The program pointed out that despite all the investigations involving Blenners, the company had its accreditation in fatigue management renewed in 2012 by the Queensland Government, and again last year by the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator.

Les Blennerhassett did not return calls from fullyloaded.

An attachment on the Four Corners website, dated February 3, includes this exchange between the program and the company:

"Why were drivers pressured by you, and the company, to meet delivery schedules even if that meant breaking the law?

"LB: Drivers have never been pressured by me or the company. They have always been told if they can’t make their delivery time to ring operations & the delivery would be changed to the next day."

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