Port People demands answers on larger trucks


Port People calls on government to detail whether it plans to introduce higher productivity vehicles as suggested by Tim Pallas

October 10, 2011

Port Melbourne action group Port People is calling on the Victorian Government to inform its members whether it plans to introduce higher productivity trucks throughout the city as suggested by former roads minister Tim Pallas.

Chairwoman Helen Kuchel says her members have been kept in dark over the government’s plans and their request for a meeting with the government representatives has not been addressed.

"We’re not very happy, to say the least," she says.

"We’d like to understand a bit more. The legislation is not exactly very explicit – whether they’re planning to just make it an extension of hours or whether they’re allowing trucks to go on any roads that they like, we just don’t know what it is."

Pallas late last month accused the government of developing a "secret plan" to allow "monster trucks" – combinations longer than 30 metres – to gain unfettered access to Victorian roads.

Pallas’s comments drew a rebuke from the Victorian Transport Association, which urged the government to push ahead with the introduction of higher productivity vehicles and "not to dither like the previous government".

Kuchel blames trucks for causing vibration, congestion and emissions while travelling through Port Melbourne daily. She believes the condition of suburban roads will deteriorate if more trucks are allowed to operate.

Higher productivity vehicles are designed to reduce truck numbers because they are capable of carrying more freight per load.

"At the moment we are hard-pressed to even get a hearing with the right people but we certainly will be making our concern felt through the formal means as much as we can," Kuchel says.

"I think the residents are so angry at the moment about the lack of consultation on a whole range of things, not just this issue. I wouldn’t be surprised if there were some demonstrations and public outpourings in the more physical way."

The National Transport Commission recently estimated 35-metre B-triples could generate more than $1 billion in savings while drastically reducing greenhouse gas emissions, road fatalities and the number of trucks on the road if governments agreed to a national access framework.




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