Now WA truck driver licensing is under a cloud

By: Rob McKay


State’s Corruption and Crime Commission probes training organisation

Now WA truck driver licensing is under a cloud
Tim Dawson says the issue should concern everyone

 

Western Australia has succumbed to the eastern state truck driver licensing malaise, with the state’s Department of Transport (DOT) in the process of cancelling 326 licenses.

Reports point to a northern Perth registered training organisation, Mines West Truck Driving School, which appears now to be closed, as being involved in supplying heavy vehicle licences without proper assessment, including for road trains.

A departmental spokesperson would not be drawn when ATN asked, citing the CCC probe, and attempts to phone Mines West, the website of which does not work, failed.

Transport Workers Union state secretary Tim Dawson gave the issue air this morning on Perth radio station 6PR.

"It concerns our organisations and it should concern everyone out there that people could be driving vehicles out there weighing well over 100 tonnes that haven't been assessed properly and are going up and down the road," Dawson says.

A spokesperson for WA senator Glenn Sterle, whose Senate committee has spent the last two years investigating  licensing scandals in the country’s east, says the revelation came as a disappointment but not a surprise, telling ATN: "We’ve been wondering when something would surface here."

Sterle is waiting to find out more details on what the state government’s next steps will be and how the department handled the issue.

For its part, the DOT confirms that a cooperative investigation conducted by the CCC and DoT uncovered irregularities in the conduct of a driver assessment provider.

"Using information arising out of the investigation and subsequent auditing practice, DoT alleges that 326 persons are unlikely to have passed a PDA to the standard required," a DOT spokesperson says.

"These 326 individuals have had or are in the process of having their licence suspended.

"The DoT is still reviewing drivers licence records associated with this matter, and further driver’s licence suspensions may be imposed.

"These driver’s licences have been suspended in the interests of public safety, and those who wish to regain their licence have been offered a free Practical Driving Assessment with DoT to demonstrate their knowledge of road traffic laws and safe driving techniques.

"While the department can’t prevent everyone from committing these types of offences, this identification highlights the robust processes DoT has in place to assist in detection are effective."

"The processes identified include:

  • a sophisticated risk and analytics approach supported by a field governance and compliance team which enabled us to detect this activity, however for obvious reasons we cannot make public the specifics as of this proven approach
  •  an Alert Us line to provide an avenue for DVS customers who wish to report suspicious, unethical or corrupt behaviour relating to a driver, a vehicle or a person’s identity; and
  • collaboration between various agencies that re-enforces these strong controls."

 

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