Recognising the impact the large truck movements will have Tweed Shire Councillors, Katie Milne (Greens) and Ron Cooper (Independent), brought a notice of motion (NoM) to last nights council (Thursday, 19 March) meeting that sought to put a price on the use of the Tweeds roads by large trucks.
‘We are dealing with a large number trucks from quarrying activities and then there is what’s on the books in future,’ Cr Milne told the council meeting.
‘As a council we are cash strapped and under the hammer and roads consume a huge amount of our funds. The heavy haulage contributions seems sensible.’
She said that it would be similar to the Ballina Shire’s heavy haulage scheme.
‘We have been directed to be a user pays,’ said Cr Milne. ‘That’s what the Ballina scheme is based on. It recognises that it is a user pays situation because trucks have more impact on normal vehicle movements.’
However, staff pointed out that Council had ‘previously resolved to remove haulage fees for quarries and development due to concerns over equity.’
Not for the little guys
The motion was for Council to produce a report to look at a heavy haulage fee for trucking activities that involved large-scale extraction and development activities.
‘There is an unusual amount of sand that is going to be removed from the Chinderah area,’ pointed out Cr Cooper.
‘A highly respected engineer in previous a council said a fully laden truck has about 20 times the impact and damage on a road that a car. We have to recover this money somehow, or we are going to be dragging it out of our road maintenance budget?’
A key concern was that it didn’t impact small businesses in the area.
‘It is for large-scale extraction and activities, not just a person with a truck or small scale stuff. We don’t have to be chasing every truck down the street to see where they are going,’ said Cr Milne. ‘When they put in their DA with truck movements it should be based on that.’
Councillor James Owen (Liberal) recognised that the motion was ‘going to get up’ and sought to have a workshop following the report back to councillors.
‘Business is doing it tough,’ said Mr Owen.
‘Can we have a workshop once the report is produced? So we can understand and see who might be impacted etc.’