Jeremy Cornford, Kingscliff
Tweed Shire Council has completely abrogated its legal duty of care to ratepayers in approving the Gales Holdings truck and fill operation between the Coast Road and Turnock Street in Kingscliff.
Local government is held to have a legal duty of care when, in the exercise of its powers it has created a danger, and also when it acts in a manner that others rely upon it for their safety.
Residents adjacent to the proposed haulage road and fill sites are concerned that no clearly defined Traffic Management Plan is included for the proposed 90,000 heavy truck movements crossing the Coast Road and Turnock Street in two places during business hours, six days a week.
In a Council workshop on the DA the planning department heard evidence from a prominent noise and vibration expert that the sound barrier for the haulage road proposed by the developer, and approved by the planners, would have absolutely no impact on noise mitigation. The expert also testified that the anticipation of low frequency truck noise every two minutes, or two thousand truck movements per week for a minimum of 44 weeks, had the capacity to damage both the physical and psychological health of residents living adjacent to the proposed haulage road and the fill sites on either side of Turnock Street. They say this fact alone appears contrary to the local government duty of care.
In the 56-page approval document from the planning department, that expert’s advice is not even acknowledged, let alone addressed, and no effort was made to seek advice from medical health consultants to further confirm those findings.
Residents are also concerned that even with provision for traffic control to the Roads and Maritime AS1742 standard, the sheer volume of two thousand weekly truck movements across either side of Turnock Street between Elrond Drive and Pearl Street poses an unacceptable risk to motorists, commercial vehicles, cyclists, pedestrians and the aged and disabled on mobility scooters. They say controlling all these factors would bring Turnock St to a virtual standstill from 7am until 6pm.