Train union calls for tanker ban

 

In one incident, two young girls died when a petrol tanker exploded after hitting their car near Batemans Bay. The tanker driver was also killed, while the girls’ father later died of his injuries in hospital.

The union’s national organiser, Bob Nanva, said a ban would help minimise truck and car collisions.

“Putting hundreds of extra long-haul trucks on our roads with mums, dads and kids in the car is hardly a good thing, especially when they’re carrying millions of litres of flammable petrol,” he said.

“We all want to do everything we can to minimise the risk of these tragedies from occurring on our roads again and a ban on the long-distance road transport of dangerous goods will go a long way to achieving that.”

Mr Nanva says transport companies need to be held accountable.

“If companies put commercial goals ahead of doing the right thing by the thousands of families that depend on our roads, governments should pull them into line,” he said.

“In light of the carnage on our roads in recent weeks, there’s no reason why the Government can’t act now to ban the long-distance road transport of dangerous goods.”

The New South Wales Premier Kristina Keneally says the ban is a good idea, but difficult to implement.

She says a different type of rail network would have to be built to accommodate the freight.

“It is an attractive proposition, but one that is a complex issue,” she said.

“We would need to work with the Commonwealth and where we would need to work with retailers and we would need to work with motoring groups to determine the best outcome here.”

A spokesman for the Transport Minister says the government is already working closely with the Federal Government and other states on the transport of freight on roads, including dangerous goods.

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