Leniency sought after Shire of Northampton workers fined for unsecure load of Seroja waste

EXCLUSIVEPhoebe PinMidwest Times
Shire of Northampton workers were given infringements for moving an unsecured load of timber and other cyclone debris.
Camera IconShire of Northampton workers were given infringements for moving an unsecured load of timber and other cyclone debris. Credit: Simon Santi/The West Australian, Simon Santi

The Shire of Northampton will appeal for leniency after workers were issued traffic infringements while conducting cyclone Seroja clean-ups.

A truck driver working on behalf of the local government was pulled over on Kalbarri Road earlier this month after the traffic officer deemed he was driving with an unsecured load of timber and other material. Another fine was issued to the operator who was responsible for loading the truck without the appropriate restraints.

The truck was said to have been driving at between 40 and 50km/h down the road, which is used by an average of 200 vehicles a day.

Works and technical services manager Neil Broadhurst said the two workers had been “doing a really great job” at assisting clean-up efforts but he was “a little bit disappointed” the appropriate procedures had not been observed in this case.

“The boys have been doing this for three months and while we are probably legally in the wrong, ethically and morally we are all sleeping at night knowing it was reasonably safe (for the load to be unsecured),” he said. “We haven’t dropped a load in the three months we have been cleaning up since Seroja or just about ever while carrying out similar practice.”

Councillors agreed for an application be made to the WA Police to have the cost of the infringements waived.

Shire president Craig Simkin said if the application was not successful, the local government would “have to take it on the chin” and ensure the incident “doesn’t happen again”.

“We need to make our operators aware of their duty of care (to the public) whilst they are working with the Shire,” he said.

If payment was required, Mr Simkin suggested the Shire cover the cost of the infringements on behalf of the operators.

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