TWU submits tanker draft to RSRT

Kaine calls for clear maintenance policies and procedures

TWU submits tanker draft to RSRT
The TWU is tackling tankers and 457


The Transport Workers Union (TWU) has as promised submitted a draft order to the Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal (RSRT) calling for improved tanker safety standards.

It believes drivers carrying dangerous goods need ongoing training.

Clear maintenance policies and procedures are also needed to ensure vehicles, such as petrol tankers, are safe to use as the Australian tanker fleet is "old and unreliable", TWU assistant national secretary Michael Kaine says.

"One in three have been threatened with job losses if they report safety defects," Kaine says.

"We’ve seen the consequences of poor maintenance standards – this week we’ve seen Cootes fined over $525,000 for hundreds of road safety breaches relating to vehicle defects, including faulty brakes and suspension.

"It’s tragic it took the deaths of two people and another five people injured in Mona Vale last year to force an investigation into Cootes vehicle maintenance," he adds.

"We saw another horrific incident in Wodonga in August where three people died in a tanker rollover. The causes are still under investigation but one thing is clear – the community can’t sit by while the death toll keeps rising.

"That’s why the union lodged a national dispute on tanker safety and why we’ve presented the RSRT with a draft order to clean up the sector and improve conditions.

"With over 1,500 on-road oil tankers in operation in Australia, this order is an important step in improving road safety nationwide."

He says the union has been attending conferences with employers, clients and the RSRT to find ways of improving the sector.

Meanwhile, the TWU has also called on the Federal Government to explain its plans to safeguard 457-visa workers against exploitation and unsafe work practices, saying road transport is an industry where high English language competency is crucial.

"We’re not against skilled migration, we’re against the abuse of the system that exploits migrant workers, hurts the entire Australian workforce by driving down wages and conditions and undercuts the businesses that play by the rules," the union says.

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