Gar­den Grove un­der spot­light

Australian Transport News - - Contents -

Land­scape sup­ply com­pany de­fended from union af­ter sec­ond driver sack­ing

LAND­SCAPE SUP­PLY com­pany Gar­den Grove (GG) found it­self in the midst of an­other dan­ger­ous driv­ing case that ul­ti­mately led to the dis­missal of one more of its truck driv­ers last month.

It came a month af­ter a sim­i­lar case that led the com­pany to dis­miss a driver for an un­safe in­ci­dent cap­tured on video and cir­cu­lated on so­cial me­dia.

Speak­ing on be­half of the com­pany, South Aus­tralian Road Trans­port As­so­ci­a­tion (SARTA) ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer Steve Shearer says both SA Po­lice and the Na­tional Heavy Ve­hi­cle Reg­u­la­tor (NHVR) have ad­vised him that they have “no con­cerns” with the com­pany fol­low­ing their sub­se­quent visit and dis­cus­sions.

“The NHVR’s new In­ves­ti­ga­tions and Pros­e­cu­tions Unit based in Ade­laide was coin­ci­den­tally al­ready meet­ing with GG as part of that Unit’s in­dus­try fa­mil­iari­sa­tion at the time of the ini­tial dash­cam in­ci­dent,” Shearer says.

“The NHVR Unit has met twice with GG as part of that process and had a thor­ough look at the com­pany’s poli­cies, man­age­ment and sys­tems, just as they are do­ing with quite a num­ber of com­pa­nies, and the NHVR has ad­vised me that they have no is­sues with GG.”

Once the com­pany found out about the in­ci­dents, it con­tacted SA Po­lice’s Heavy Ve­hi­cle En­force­ment Unit and made them aware of the footage and co­op­er­ated dur­ing the in­ves­ti­ga­tions.

Gar­den Grove also con­ducted its own in­ves­ti­ga­tions, which in­volved speak­ing to the driv­ers. How­ever, af­ter both driv­ers failed to con­vince the com­pany that there was a valid rea­son for their dan­ger­ous ma­noeu­vres on the road, they were fired.

In re­sponse to Trans­port Work­ers’ Union (TWU) calls to SA au­thor­i­ties to con­duct an in­ves­ti­ga­tion of Gar­den Grove’s safety prac­tices, Shearer says SafeWorkSA has in­formed him that they have “no in­ten­tion of vis­it­ing or in­ves­ti­gat­ing” the com­pany as the union has failed to pro­vide any in­for­ma­tion to sup­port its claims.

TWU SA/NT branch sec­re­tary Ian Smith ear­lier stated that Gar­den Grove was “cov­er­ing up its poor safety prac­tices”, which is forc­ing many “ex­pe­ri­enced” driv­ers to exit the com­pany.

“The TWU claims are both out­ra­geous and un­sub­stan­ti­ated, yet they keep re­peat­ing their ab­surd claims, which in my view is an ap­palling at­tempt to stir up trou­ble and cre­ate some case for what­ever it is that they think they are try­ing to achieve,” Shearer says.

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