Mulder to keep 'very close eye' on Geelong truck ban

MP seeks Victorian Government intervention on proposed Geelong truck ban, prompting roads minister to say he will monitor the situation

By Brad Gardner | October 18, 2013

Victorian Roads Minister Terry Mulder has pledged to pay close attention to how Geelong Council’s truck ban plays out, after an Opposition MP raised concerns about the process that led to the ban.

Responding to Labor’s Ian Trezise’s request for him to "personally and urgently intervene" in the matter, Mulder told him he and his department will keep track of what happens.

The council has proposed a six-month trial that will prevent trucks from entering the CBD by banning them from using Mercer and Malop streets.

Trezise – who holds the seat of Geelong – fears the ban will result in trucks using nearby residential roads, McKillop and Ryrie streets, as an alternative.

He claims the council failed to consult affected residents before making a decision, adding that people will need to contend with more than 1,000 trucks a day using McKillop and Ryrie streets once the ban begins.

"All I can say to the member is that this is a Greater Geelong City Council initiative which VicRoads will watch and monitor very closely. I make the commitment that I will also keep a very close eye on the outcome," Mulder says.

"I will keep in contact with the member for Geelong in relation to this matter as it progresses, and I will be happy to talk to him on an ongoing basis as the trial is conducted."

Trezise took aim at the council’s actions, saying the lack of consultation reflected poorly on it and the councillors.

"As far as I am concerned, and I know local residents are concerned, the council stands condemned for its lack of consultation," he says.

Trezise believes residents living on McKillop and Ryrie streets will be adversely affected once the ban begins. A proposed start date is due to go to VicRoads next month.

"As residents know, this will have a significant and detrimental impact on their homes, many of which are set on the verge of the roadside with little setback," he says.

Trezise wants the council to rethink its "ad hoc decision" and sit down with the State Government, VicRoads and local residents to address truck traffic issues.

"There is no easy answer, but this issue cannot be resolved by simply closing off Malop Street," he says.

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