Truckies’ advocate takes up fight for drivers at Charlton facility

Truckies’ campaigner Wes Walker was warned by drivers to expect the worst when he checked on the toilet facilities at the Charlton road train facility on Nass Road, near Toowoomba.

But Walker admits that he was still taken aback by the unsanitary conditions that greeted him on a recent visit last week.

“I wouldn’t even let my dog go in those toilets, and that’s honest to God,” said Walker.

“They’re unusable, they’re disgusting.

Walker, whose campaigning resulted in two portable toilets finally being allowed at the Gatton hook-ups, was so incensed by what he saw at Charlton that he immediately marched himself off to the office of local Condamine MP Pat Weir to lodge an official protest.

“Due to the closure of the Toowoomba Bypass Range Crossing to some road train types there has been a resultant increase in the use of the toilet facilities by drivers using the Charlton facility,” said Weir in a subsequent letter to Queensland’s Transport Minister Mark Bailey.

“This has resulted in very unsanitary conditions and the drivers are requesting daily cleaning of the toilet facilities to maintain hygiene workplace standards.”

Wes Walker will be checking up on the Charlton site to ensure the cleaning commitments are being met.

Now, it seems Walker’s advocacy has had another win for the health and wellbeing of truckies using the busy freight route.

Late on Friday, a spokesperson from the Department of Transport and Main Roads (TMR), confirmed to Big Rigs that they will be stepping up the cleaning commitments at Charlton.

“The toilets at the Charlton decoupling facility are usually cleaned weekly. But we have now arranged for daily cleaning while the bypass is closed,” a spokesperson said.

Walker said “that’s an unbelievable result”, but also committed to checking up on the site to ensure the increased cleaning commitment is being met while the issues on the Toowoomba Bypass drag on.

Meanwhile, the disability pensioner is still visiting the Gatton site daily to clean the two portable toilets there at his own expense.

TMR empties and cleans the toilets once a week, but Walker says that’s nowhere near enough to keep them in a sanitary condition for drivers.

“It would be nice if some of the transport companies supported me with fuel vouchers,” said Walker.

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