Walker butts heads again with transport department over Gatton pads


Tireless truckies’ campaigner Wes Walker has squared off again with Queensland’s transport department over what he believes are more shortcomings at the busy Gatton pads.

Walker, whose protest over the absence of toilet facilities at Gatton featured on A Current Affair in 2021, says the Department of Transport and Main Roads (TMR) has dropped the ball again by botching the lane markings at the costly decoupling facility.

He believes TMR hasn’t finished marking up the bays in the far corner leading to trucks and trailers taking up more space than necessary.

Walker says dollies are also hogging valuable space because at present they haven’t been given a designated area.

The disability pensioner told Big Rigs that when he called TMR to highlight the issues and try to broker a solution he was told: “They [the truckies] will work it out.”

“I told them they need to get someone down here and have a meeting to see with their own eyes the problems we have.

“I’ve told them they’d get more trailers in here if they’d just listen to me and put some line markings down.”

Walker believes line markings would increase parking capacity at the site.

Walker believes an easy solution would be to designate an area up front for the dollies, which would free up trailer space at the back.

He’d also like to see speed limit of 20km/h imposed at the facility, and a 36-hour time limit on parking.

He says he knows of three transport companies who are using it as a makeshift yard.

“I’ve spoken to the drivers and the majority agree that 36-hours gives those interstaters who don’t have dog runners enough time to do two trailers.”

Walker knows what he’s talking about when it comes to maximising the parking limits at Gatton.

During the most recent flooding event in the area, Walker single-handedly doubled the parking capacity on site to ensure truckies had a safe place to take refuge.

Big Rigs has contacted TMR for comment on the parking issues raised by Walker.

Update: 4.55pm, June 7

A TMR spokesperson said the line-marking at the heavy vehicle decoupling facility at Gatton was designed according to standards, and in consultation with the heavy vehicle industry.

“We recognise the size of the facility does not cater to every heavy vehicle on the network needing to decouple,” the spokesperson said.

“Initial consultation with industry recommended not having a time limit to allow drivers flexibility to manage their trips.

“A time limit was placed on the temporary facility while the permanent one was being built, however we received negative feedback about the timeframe.

“The feedback regarding a facility speed limit has been noted for consideration.”

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