Venessa Skye, Middle Pocket.
The banter on the Middle Pocket Rum Factory DA continues.
We are talking about a tiny, neglected country road. Shire residents, come out for your Sunday drive and have a look for yourself, if you make it to the end where the tar meets the dirt without an adrenalin rush due to the poor state of the road and oncoming traffic, I would be extremely surprised.
In the councils own notes they claim “the existing Middle Pocket Rd is typically of a 3m width, seal road standard with some localised widening to 5 meters in places”….
Localised places? Well, our road is about 5km long. The two ‘5 meter wide’ strips are about 100 meters of the 5km Middle Pocket length. Maybe council should write ‘in one small 200m place’ instead. Our road is on average is about 3m wide, 2.4 in some places.
If an average car that is 2.2m wide, meets a loaded tanker carrying ethanol (highly flammable) that is 2.5m wide, on a 3m wide road, where is the tanker going to go? My maths, though poor, can work out they cannot fit together. So which vehicle will be reversing back off the blind causeways? Who will educate the visitors to this factory (for tastings apparently) that the school bus, by law, cannot leave the sealed road, and that the factory customers must completely pull over onto the dirt to allow the bus to pass? A standard road in Australia is 7 meters wide, each lane being 3.5 meters. Middle Pocket Rd is not even half of the Australian road standard for traffic like this.
I was also wondering, in the DA, has the traffic count included the water tankers that will need to go to this facility once the creek and bore has dried up? Lacks creek dries up at least twice a year for long periods, and the local residents who use bore water have had to purchase water a few times in the last 12 months. Will this mean the factory will stop production if the water runs dry? Probably not. I would imagine that if you are pulling 53 million litres of water out of the ground and creek, running dry is going to happen pretty fast. So we will have to add water tankers to the heavy vehicle tally. 53 million litres of water = 2600 tankers annually, when loaded weigh approximately 45 tonnes, on a 2.4m wide road, crossing causeways? That is just for the water.
On top of the 2,600 water tankers, there are the extra water tankers that the residents will require, (as they will have no water either) and the molasses tankers, ethanol tankers and other produce trucks that will be required for this facility and the trucks taking away the factory waste. Our road and causeways definitely cannot hold up to the weight of the rum factory.
There is an actual reason that freight companies are not allowed to deliver to our road, all parcels are left at the post office for collection. It is quite interesting that trucks from transport companies are not permitted to deliver in our road but this rum factory that will attract so many road movements is being given consideration? I believe the traffic count should be reassessed, with all the traffic this facility will attract, and with a new traffic count, that this time, is from the start of the road, not just the last 1km like the last council traffic count.