Garden Grove under spotlight
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.