Letter to The Prime Minister Calls For Safety On The Wharves

Nephew of the late Nick Fanos plea to the PM

SPIRO TZOUGANATOS 

Barrister at Law 

Elizabeth Street Chambers 

Level 16, 179 Elizabeth Street 

Sydney  NSW  2000 

5 April 2010 

The Honourable 

The Prime Minister 

Kevin Rudd MP 

Parliament House, 

Canberra ACT 2600 

Dear Prime Minister, 

Re:  The Late Nick Fanos; National Stevedoring Safety Taskforce 

At around 7.30 pm on Sunday March 28 my 49 year old uncle Nick Fanos, was killed while loading containers onto a ship at Port Botany in Sydney.  Nick was crushed between containers. His wife, two children, the rest of our family and Nick's work mates are in shock.   

We now await the outcome of investigations into my uncle's death including the findings of the Coroner. 

However, in a modern workplace, the incident that killed my uncle should not happen. There should be a code of practice and mechanisms in place that make this horrific situation practically impossible.  While it is too late for my uncle, the safety of other dock workers needs to addressed as a matter of urgency.  I am aware of other recent fatalities of dock workers during the course of their work on the waterfront.  

On behalf of our family and dock workers across our country I respectfully ask that you establish a National Stevedoring Safety Taskforce, leading to the earliest introduction of a National Stevedoring Safety Code of Practice.   

I know there are priorities in the Government's workload especially in these trying economic times but surely there is nothing more important than the life, safety and welfare of workers and working families. 

I trust you will give my request your urgent consideration. 

Yours sincerely 

Spiro Tzouganatos 

CC: Paddy Crumlin, National Secretary, Maritime Union of Australia