300 charges laid against Cootes
Since a fatal crash in Mona Vale last October, the trucking company Cootes could be banned from NSW roads within weeks. Nine News.PT0M0S 620 349
The trucking company involved in a fatal crash at Mona Vale in October will be banned from NSW roads within weeks unless it can prove it has turned itself around.
Roads Minister Duncan Gay on Thursday told NSW Parliament he had lost confidence in Cootes Transport, which has been the biggest fuel distributor in the country.
''Cootes Transport has been a repeat offender and enough is enough,'' Mr Gay said.
State authorities have laid more than 300 charges against Cootes since a fatal truck crash in Mova Vale last October. Photo: Tim Pascoe
''Roads and Maritime has given the company every reasonable opportunity to demonstrate it is worthy of operating in NSW but the company has so far failed to do so.
''Consistent with due process the company has 14 days to take action in order to avoid suspension or cancellation of their rights to travel on NSW roads.''
Since the crash in Mona Vale, state authorities have laid more than 300 charges against Cootes, owned by the stockmarket listed McAleese Group.
Trucks owned by the company have repeatedly been found with major defects during inspections, only to be discovered with more defects after they returned to the road.
''To date around 320 trucks have been checked and only 179 have passed without receiving a formal warning or a minor or major defect notice,'' Mr Gay said.
''Only yesterday two trucks were inspected and found with major brake defects. These trucks were last inspected on February 24 and 27, just 10 and seven days ago,'' he said.
The 14 days provided to Cootes to show cause why it should not be pulled off the road will provide some time for alternative arrangements to be put in place to deliver fuel across Sydney and NSW.
When Cootes' fleet has been grounded for safety inspections since the October crash, there have been periodic fuel shortages at Sydney petrol stations.
Cootes recently lost its major contract to supply BP petrol stations to rival Linfox.