Local transport operator takes matters into his own hands at ‘filthy’ rest area

Not all heroes wear capes – and this local transport legend is a shining example. Fed up with the filthy state of the local rest area amenities, he’s taken it upon himself to clean and maintain them.

Truck driver Tracey Connaughton got in touch with Big Rigs wanting to give Barry Smith at Barry Smith Transport a shout-out.

The rest area at Dirranbandi, a Queensland town located near the border of NSW, had been in quite a sorry state for some time.

Based in Broadford, Victoria, Connaughton and her partner Laurence Harris are owner-drivers, and currently stop at the site twice a week with their Kenworth T900 and road train, as they deliver pipes from Melbourne to Rockhampton.

Coincidentally, when Big Rigs published a story about the poor state of the facilities in November last year, Connaughton had also contacted the local council – but to no avail.

“I had contacted the St George shire to ask why they are not being cleaned and why the staff employed to clean them were sitting under the tree in their car doing nothing! I sent pics and they assured me they would be cleaned,” she said.

After a seven-week break over Christmas, the couple recently went back out on the road. When they arrived at the Dirranbandi rest area, the toilets and showers were spotless.

Interestingly however, they say the local council wasn’t responsible. Instead the couple says it was local transport veteran Barry Smith of Barry Smith Transport, who got the job done.

Connaughton says a lot of grain and cotton transporters stop at the site, which has three showers and three toilets. “It’s so handy. There aren’t many roadhouses on the run we do, so we shower there.

“I know people can be feral and don’t clean up after themselves, yes there was that – but the shower curtains were also mouldy and the whole area was filthy. I don’t mind old or cobwebs, but I don’t like having to shower in filth!”

According to Connaughton, two council workers had been heading to the site. “I told them there was a tap off, and a week later it was still off,” she said.

“Barry himself helped a young lady scrub and clean the toilets and showers, and she is now maintaining them. He got sick of the state of them, and he’s organised someone to maintain them.

“When I saw her cleaning I told her what a great job she’d done. We were like wow, they’re clean – that was last week and then this week again. I said thank you so much from so many truck drivers for the job you’ve done.

“All the cleaning products she had there would’ve cost a fortune too!”

However Balonne Shire Council chief executive officer Matthew Magin, recently told Big Rigs that the facilities are being cleaned and maintained.

“We clean these facilities at the Dirranbandi Truck Stop three times a week and they are easily the most time consuming of all the amenities blocks for our staff,”he said.

“Our team is consistently confronted with unacceptable scenes at this location, as they are covered in grease and excrement by users who don’t respect these free facilities.

“We ask that people respect the free services on offer, as these facilities at the truck stop are provided for their travelling convenience.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Send this to a friend