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Gatton site short-changes truckies yet again, says advocate

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Wes Walker wants to make one thing crystal clear to Queensland truckies – he’s still fighting tooth and nail to have toilet and shower facilities built at the Gatton decoupling facility.

Pleas by the determined disability pensioner to have basic amenities installed there have been repeatedly rejected by state transport minister Mark Bailey and the Department of Transport and Main Roads (TMR).

But Walker, who spent months staging an on-site protest, a fight that also landed him on A Current Affair last year, is adamant he’s not backing down.

He still goes to the site every two or three days to “make sure I’m seen on the cameras” and is pinning his hopes on local Lockyer LNP MP Jim McDonald to keep driving home the same message in parliament.

Walker reckons you only have to look at the debacle with the on-site wheelie bins to know where truckies stand at present.

After one bin disappeared, only two now remain, with one of those smack in the middle of a parking bay and the other wired to the light post so it doesn’t blow over.

“Anyone in their right mind would know this was going to happen; I told them that,” said Walker.

“The chances of that ever working, were 10 zillion to one. It’s like putting a nail into your backyard and hoping that it would hold up the cubbie house.

“They needed four bins down either side, on the outside of the complex, so everyone can see them and they’re not mixed up with trailers.”

Meanwhile, the rubbish keeps mounting up next door to the adjoining University of Queensland agriculture fields, said Walker.

“What they’ve done now because we’ve been on their case, and I say we because I include Big Rigs, is that they’re going in once a fortnight now to mow the weeds and pick up all the papers around the place.

“It’s still not good enough, once a fortnight you know. It’s been not quite a fortnight now and there are papers and shit around everywhere.”

Big Rigs has approach TMR for comment.

Update – 4.30pm:

A TMR spokesperson said there are two rubbish bins at the Gatton Heavy Vehicle Decoupling Facility which are serviced weekly.

Both are away from marked parking bays to avoid damage by heavy vehicles while drivers decouple or recouple.

Each bin is attached to a steel pole to ensure it is not moved.

The spokesperson said one of these poles was recently damaged by a vehicle and is scheduled for repair. The bin remains available.

“The site is subject to a Biosecurity Site Management Plan which prohibits littering,” they added.

“Monitoring cameras are installed and penalties apply for littering.

“Compliance at the site is generally good and we thank heavy vehicle operators for their continued cooperation.”

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