TWU uses Cootes case to push for tanker industry reform

Union plan would lead to new conditions being imposed on tanker industry operators.

TWU uses Cootes case to push for tanker industry reform
The TWU's proposal, if introduced, will affect parties involved in the oil, fuel and gas transport sector.


The Transport Workers Union (TWU) is using the case of Cootes Transport to push the need for sweeping changes to the tanker industry.

The TWU has welcomed the fine of more than $50,000 handed out to Cootes in Victoria for using defective trucks, but says more needs to be done to hold all parties in the supply chain accountable for poor maintenance and driver safety.

"That’s why the TWU has submitted a draft order to the RSRT [Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal] addressing the key issues facing operators and drivers in the oil, fuel and gas transport sector," recently re-elected TWU national secretary Tony Sheldon says.

The TWU’s proposal, which the RSRT will hold a hearing on this month, seeks to impose new requirements on drivers, operators and consignors relating to vehicle maintenance, pay rates, training and more.

"When transport companies aren’t paid enough to operate safely, maintenance is skipped and drivers are sweated," Sheldon says.

The RSRT will deal with the TWU’s proposed order on October 27.

Cootes was fined $50,250 for 67 offences relating to operating unsafe vehicles.

It was fined $440,000 earlier this year in New South Wales for similar offences.

The fines stem from an investigation into Cootes after one of its tankers was involved in a fatal crash at Mona Vale near Sydney in October last year.

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