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Byron Shire
February 8, 2023

Court set to decide bid to boost size of water-mine trucks

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The water extraction and bottling plant site at 477 Urliup Road. Operators want to boost the size of the current delivery trucks used from six metres to 19 metres long, which has raised the ire of neighbours. Image Tweed Shire Council

The NSW Land and Environment Court is set to decide this month whether to allow a water-extraction company at Bilambil to use 19-metre B-double trucks seven days a week to transport the water to a bottling factory in Queensland.

The hearing for the controversial bid, ruled against by Tweed Shire Council, is set down for 10am on Thursday, March 22, on site at 477 Urliup Road, Bilambil (see previous story at https://www.echo.net.au/2017/05/tweed-water-extraction-firms-upgrade-bid-off-court/

Neighbours opposed to the plan and their supporters are expected to attend the court hearing.

A former member of council’s traffic committee says approval of the plan could set a precedent throughout the shire for use of 50-tonne trucks, including petrol tankers.

Stephen Henderson, of Murwillumbah, told Echonetdaily the plan would involve the much larger B-doubles trucks with a legal weight of 50 tonnes ‘operating on an unlimited basis seven days a week between the water mine and the bottling factory’.

‘All residents of the shire should be concerned about this, not just the residents of Kennedy Drive and the parents of children at the school at the bottom of Bilambil Hill, where the trucks will travel down the steep grade from an 80kph zone into the 40kph school zone with cars queuing at the pedestrian crossing,’ Mr Henderson said.

‘Once approved by the court it will set a precedent throughout the shire, 50-tonne petrol tankers delivering to Bray Park and Uki, 50-tonne double cane trucks and general freight to any road in the shire no matter how narrow.

‘As a former member of the traffic committee I was amazed that this committee recently recommended to council that they allow this size truck to travel to Uki.

‘I can recall a similar request from a different trucking company some years ago.

‘Members of the committee actually went out into the field rather than approving something from an office and followed the company’s gun driver on a test run to see if it could be done without crossing onto the incorrect side of the road.

‘I invite all concerned people to attend and participate in democracy… and show that residents of this shire don’t want their roads trashed or their water taken,’ Mr  Stephenson said.

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  1. Environmental law in NSW is fatally flawed because it does not take into account social impacts and the great god dollar dominates decision making.

  2. Big 50 tonne b doubles on the road are a concern. In my opinion a bigger concern is what are the environmental impacts of removing so much drinkable water from the north coast catchment area. Can the ecosystem cope with this, especially in times of drought?I encourage people concerned to write letters to politicians to ask for environmental studies into the impact on the environment.

  3. This road and area would not be able to handle a truck this size look at the impact on this road the last flood did to this road its already impossible for it to be a two lane street with needing to giveway to cars as you drive through. My kids also attend Bilambil Public School and the afternoon pick up at kiss and drop and parking is already crazy busy can not imagine a large truck being able to stop quickly enough if needed This area is a small country community lets just leave it this way and consider the impacts on our environment, our kids and our town.


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