Safety to the fore in Australia Day honours recognition

Contribution of Cootes, Fawcett, O’Connor, Hoare and Beasley headline T&L industry’s representation

Safety to the fore in Australia Day honours recognition
Australia Day saw honours to contributers to the industry.


Two identities focused on tanker safety and a Northern Territory livestock transport pioneer are among transport and logistics people to have been tapped for Australia Day honours.

Ian Cootes, was made a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for "significant service to the road transport industry, to the development of improved safety and efficiency standards, and to philanthropy".

Cootes, the 2003 road transport hall of famer and founder of Cootes Haulage, which developed an enviable reputation amongst customers and drivers alike over decades before being sold, has a long history in promoting dangerous goods safety.

He has served the Australian Liquefied Petroleum Gas Association, the Australian Road Research Board and the National Bulk Tanker Association in his time. 

An AM also became part of Brian O’Connor’s life for "significant service to the petroleum transport industry through emergency response safety training, and to the community of Yass".

O'Connor co-founded the Canberra and Regions Oil Industry Emergency Response Group in 1989 and, judging by coverage 18 months ago and a local report this month, its lessons are no more valuable than they are now.

Northern Territorian Tom Fawcett has received a Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) for "service to the livestock transport industry".

The Fawcett Cattle Company founder’s story is a classic of Australian trucking, growing his business from a one-truck operation specialising in catching and transporting feral bulls and buffalo in the Victorian River district in the 1960s and ’70s to an established livestock transport entity with more than 30 vehicles.

The family-owned transport firm is one of the largest such in the territory.

Australian Trucking Association (ATA) chair Noelene Watson emphasises that Cootes’ honour recognises his "enormous contribution to the trucking industry and its safety standards".

"Ian was considered a leader of the trucking industry – as far as he was concerned, everything had to be exactly spot on or it just wasn’t worth doing," Watson says.

"This was reflected in his extensive service as a board member of the National Bulk Tanker Association, and when he served as a Board member and then President of the Australian Liquefied Petroleum Gas Association.

"He was always a highly respected industry operator, and a really positive influence on the industry. He set the benchmark for other operators to look up to, and was an important early contributor to the ATA.

"In addition to his work for the trucking industry, Ian’s award recognises his philanthropic contributions.

"Ian has been a long-standing supporter of the Alfred Hospital through The Alfred Foundation, where he served as chair from 2003-2008 and continues to serve as its deputy chairman today.

"His work has been recognised through his induction to the National Road Transport Hall of Fame in 2003 and his addition to the National Trauma Research Institute Honour Board in 2004.

"It’s very appropriate that his work has now been recognised nationally.

"On behalf of the ATA and the whole trucking industry, I want to offer Ian my congratulations on this most significant honour."

The ATA also congratulates Fawcett, who has been an active member of the Northern Territory Road Transport Association for many years.

He has also served as a member of the Coomalie Community Government Council.

An OAM made its way to materials handling stalwart Brian Hoare for "service to the community, and to the manufacturing sector".

Hoare is a long-term Australian Industrial Truck Association (AITA) servant – he was deputy president in 2004 and president from 2005 to 2008 – and supporter of children’s charity Variety through the Variety Bash.

He worked at Crown Equipment Australia for 38 years until his retirement and remains a non-executive director.

"Brian was a strong advocate for increased safety standards and national uniformity of regulations affecting the forklift truck industry," AITA president Steve Takacs says.

"During his time as President, the AITA initiated a program of annual forklift safety seminars and associated activities and strengthened its involvement with Standards Australia in the development of Standards relating to the sector."

"Mr Hoare was a highly respected member of the industry and his input has greatly influenced the development of the sector."

Beyond land transport and logistics, shipping industry training stalwart Captain Cliff Beasley received an OAM for "significant service to the marine transport industry through the development of training facilities for ship handling and navigation".


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