As the Far North Coast dries up, some families waiting for water deliveries have had their hopes dashed as at least one vehicle being put off the road by Transport for NSW and other delayed for repairs.
Coorabell resident Anthony Stante said he and his family were in desperate need of water but the truck they ordered didn’t appear. ‘We had water ordered for Friday but apparently there was a blitz on the local water trucks and our deliverer was put off the road.
‘Talk about stupidity at this time of year with fires on. Now we have virtually no water for the house or to fight fires!’
One of the water carriers who preferred not to be named said that he was in the queue for the stand pipe at Bangalow. ‘One of the trucks in front of me turned to leave without a load and there were two or three other trucks in front of him. The truck who tried to leave was blocked at the entrance and all of the trucks including mine were checked for defects.
‘It just felt like we were being targeted,’ the man said. ‘I feel like they just wanted us off the road at Christmas ’
All the people who spoke to Echonetdaily agreed that it was important that trucks be roadworthy, but in these desperate times there needed to be some lenience.
A Transport for NSW spokesperson said that they recognises the importance of essential water deliveries across NSW, especially during current drought conditions, but all deliveries must be carried out by compliant vehicles to ensure the safety of all road users.
‘Water carts generally operate on hilly and rugged terrain on narrow country roads so all operators need to ensure their vehicles are compliant to ensure not only their safety but the safety of fellow road users,’ the spokesperson said.
‘Transport for NSW received feedback from concerned members of the local community around the condition of a number of vehicles carting water in the Bangalow area.
‘As a result of this feedback, Transport for NSW inspected 17 vehicles last Friday, including six water carts. Of the six water carts, one major and one minor defect notice was issued.’
More information around Transport for NSW’s compliance operations can be found at https://www.rms.nsw.gov.au/business-industry/heavy-vehicles/safety-compliance/inspections-checks/on-road-enforcement.html.