Selasa, 19 Agustus 2014

Rubbish collections stop after Transpacific*s national truck fleet grounded (ABC)

Rubbish collection services have been halted in many parts of the country after Australia's largest waste management firm grounded its entire fleet.

Transpacific operates rubbish and sewerage collection services in various cities across Australia.

The Queensland-based company is conducting a safety audit of its 2,800 trucks after a fatal accident in Adelaide on Monday.

A Transpacific truck smashed into three stationary cars at a busy intersection, killing a man and a woman, as well as critically injuring two others, including the truck driver.

Police are investigating whether brake failure or speed played a part in the incident.

Transpacific said the truck driver had undergone thorough safety training.

The company said it would continue to gather evidence and would cooperate with police and regulators.

Rubbish not being collected in Darwin, Perth

Darwin's kerbside collection service has been delayed and council spokesman Luccio Cercarelli said the city would be heavily impacted.

"At this stage we are talking about up to five suburbs, however as a result of a delay by 24 hours in collecting today's collection, that will have a ripple effect throughout the municipality," he said.

"All services will be delayed by 24 hours this week and we expect to be back to normal services by Monday."

Rubbish collections at tens of thousands of homes in Perth and in Western Australia's south-west has also ground to a halt.

Transpacific spokeswoman Megan Taylor said it was unclear how long the fleet would be grounded in WA.

"The vehicle will need to be deemed safe before they can return to the road," she said.

"In the meantime, there will be no rubbish collections.

"We are having meetings today to try to thrash out more details, which hopefully we will be able to release later today."

Collections have also been missed in New South Wales.

The Mayor of Ashfield Council, in Sydney's inner-west, was unimpressed by the backlog of missed garbage in the area.

Lucille McKenna said residents would be dissatisfied once they realised their rubbish had not been taken away.

"It is unsatisfactory that the garbage is at a standstill. If there's a possibility that trucks aren't roadworthy, that's a real concern as well," she said.

"So we've got two dilemmas here, we've got the possibility of unroadworthiness vehicles and we also have the possibility of garbage being on our streets for prolonged periods."

TWU raises driver safety concerns

The Transport Workers Union (TWU) said the grounding highlighted its long-held concerns about the safety of drivers in the industry.

TWU national president Ray Wyatt said the truck involved in the Adelaide crash was 30 years old and the driver, aged in his 20s, had only been on the job a week.

"If there is anything wrong with the company and its maintenance programs then the full force of the law should be thrown at the company," he said.

"This is an appalling situation that we need to wait until there's blood on the road, before a company would think that it needed to do this and that is really concerning."

Mr Wyatt said the accident had come as companies in the waste management industry were pressured to reduce costs.

"Within the waste industry, the squeeze on waste companies to win contracts and keep cost-cutting to win these contracts has been a concern for many years," he said.

"It's now come to boiling point where a tragic event where we have a number of dead people and people with critical injuries that has led to this grounding of a fleet, it is really concerning."

Mr Wyatt said councils were fuelling that pressure.

"Local councils that dish out the contracts are looking for the cheapest denominator when they're awarding the contracts," he said.

"That puts absolute pressure on companies that provide the service and its really unfortunate that we have had these fatalities."

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