The long-running protest from Sunshine Coast hinterland residents over the number of quarry trucks on their roads appears still no closer to a resolution since we first brought you the story last December.
At that stage, Noosa councillors voted to start legal proceedings against the operators of the Kin Kin Quarry, Cordwell’s Concrete, because of what they believed were on-going breaches of the haulage plan.
The management requirements include staggered departures from the site of five minutes, keeping a minimum of 60m between trucks and no overtaking of other vehicles, among many others.
But it looks like Noosa Council hit a dead-end with that strategy with Noosa Mayor Clare Stewart once again calling on the state government to act on Kin Kin residents’ safety concerns about quarry trucks using Pomona Kin Kin Road.
“This is about preventing an accident or a fatality,” the Mayor said in a statement. “Based on the feedback from our community, there is a genuine likelihood of that occurring in the foreseeable future.”
In letters to Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey, Mayor Stewart says the community is at “breaking point”, with the quarry operation having “catastrophic repercussions” for local residents.
“Kin Kin residents are increasingly frightened for the safety of their loved ones, especially their children who regularly have to cross roads used by quarry trucks travelling at significant speed,” she said.
Provisions in the Transport Infrastructure Act allow the state to restrict the use of its roads in order to prevent damage to road infrastructure or to ensure the safety of road users.
“We have advised the state government that Pomona Kin Kin Road is not fit for purpose for handling quarry trucks and passing cars, especially buses,” the Mayor said.
“The school bus shares the same route at the same time as many quarry trucks and we’re hearing reports about the school bus nearly being run off the road, as well as near misses involving students on the roadside.”
The state can apply temporary restrictions based on vehicle class, time of day and load weight.
“I call on the Minister to act as legislation allows him to limit the impact of truck movements. Please Minister, act now before there is a fatality rather than acting after a major accident occurs.
“Instigating this legislation will help to safeguard against an accident, or even worse – a fatality,” the Mayor said.
“We owe it to our community to avoid a foreseeable loss of life, particularly in relation to children on school buses. I call on the Minister to step in.”
Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey tells us in an emailed statement that he’s met with the Member for Noosa, Sandy Bolton, a number of times and understand the community’s concerns regarding the Kin Kin Quarry.
“My department has been working with Sandy and Mayor Stewart to look at solutions, and is continuing to investigate options,” he said.
“I’m pleased to confirm that TMR will be installing heavy vehicle advisory signs, in consultation with the Member for Noosa and Noosa Shire Council.
“Concerns around the frequency of quarry trucks fall under Council’s Quarry Management Plan.
“TMR will continue to work with Sandy and Council to try and reach a resolution.”
Big Rigs has approached Martin Caldwell at Caldwell’s Concrete for comment.
Hinterland residents told council they fear the worst with up to 69 quarry trucks driving in and out of the quarry every day.