Experienced interstate driver and national secretary of the National Road Freighters Association (NRFA), Trevor Warner, has taken up the fight to give Melbourne truckies more city parking.
In light of the ever-decreasing options for truckies in main centres, Warner has written to both the local MP Moira Deeming and council for their help.
With emotions running high on social media about the issue, Warner is adamant that something has to be done soon before tempers spill over. The bp Truganina has already starting towing those who overstay their welcome, but truckies tell us that isn’t having much impact so far.
Through correspondence with the Brimbank City Council, which has jurisdiction over many of the busiest truck stops in Melbourne, Warner was told that local drivers park at servos because they don’t want to shell out for a street parking permit.
The result is more demand in the servo slots usually reserved for interstate drivers.
Warner believes the issue is also being exacerbated by warehouses choosing to maximise the footprint of its buildings over the need for any on-site parking.
So far, says Warner, the council has not proffered up a solution. Big Rigs has also approached the council for comment.
Warner says Deeming is now looking into where the issue is falling down in planning or development applications.
The truckie believes one of the best short-term fixes would be for Melbourne to make better use of the Derrimut Grassland Nature Conservation Reserve bordering the Western Ring Road.
He’s calling for a special exemption to allow the busy 7-Eleven servos on the Western Ring Road, which many truckies tell us are already running over capacity, to do a joint venture with the local, state and federal governments.
“There’s a nature reserve surrounding those service stations so it’s an environmentally sensitive matter, but from what I’ve seen they could quite easily expand that truck parking by anything up to 200 trucks,” Warner said.
“The businesses are finding it hard to justify the expense to expand the carpark and I’d invite state and commonwealth governments to have a serious look at it to address the issue in that particular area.
“I don’t think people in the positions of influence understand the position that we have. They all think that the industry should provide a solution but in the last decade in Melbourne we’ve seen industry expand beyond belief and the parking problem has exponentially increased.
“It needs government intervention to be able to provide a solution. I think Senator Glenn Sterle and [federal transport minister] Catherine King are in the ideal position to be able to address it.”
Warner said Sydney is in no better shape for truckies, with rapid expansion in Eastern Creek and Erskine Park only adding to the pressures they face on a daily basis.
“There’s been zero allowance for truck parking.
“They’ve landscaped areas to make it look attractive, but that’s actually reduced parking again.”
Warner said Road Freight NSW CEO Simon O’Hara is working hard to address the issue, particularly at the long-running problem area of Port Botany, which continues to offer truckies zero respite.
O’Hara told Big Rigs that after a recent meeting between the NRFA, Port Botany officials, and Transport for NSW there is “constructive” progress toward provision for three parking bays for dangerous goods vehicles.
“If we can get something for dangerous goods in terms of a rest area that’s more than just 30 minutes for truckies coming in, particularly from rural and regional NSW to be able to rest up and wait, that’ll be terrific,” O’Hara said.
“That’s certainly a positive step in the right direction. We need a dangerous goods park-up area. It’s something I’ve raised with Transport for NSW and NSW Ports for some time.”