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‘Not anti-truckies – but pro-residents health and wellbeing’: Mayor wants trucks off local streets

The Maribyrnong City Council has joined the chorus of anti-truck advocacy groups and numerous locals who want “big trucks” off their local roads.

Mayor Cr Anthony Tran says the council, which is located in Melbourne’s inner-west, has been advocating to government for some time to get these trucks off local streets, citing safety and health concerns.

“The emissions from the around 34,000 trucks passing through our municipality daily is impacting the quality of the air our residents breathe which is in turn contributing to poor health outcomes – especially in relation to heart and lung complaints, which are among the worst in the inner west,” Tran said.

“Anything that will reduce the air pollution levels for our residents is to be celebrated – but more is needed.”

Tran says the installation of surveillance cameras is “a good start” but the Maribyrnong City Council wants to see lower emission trucks being mandated.

“Ultimately council wants to see government mandating cleaner, less polluting trucks on our roads, which have lower emissions as outlined in the draft Air Quality Improvement Plan and is also in line with the findings of the 2021 Parliamentary Committee Investigation into Health Impacts of Air Pollution in Victoria.

“We want to do what we can to protect our residents from poor air quality recognising those who live and work in the Inner West experience a higher rate of health problems associated with air pollution than the general population.”

Tran added that while the Maribyrnong City Council recognises that truckies worked long hours to ensure shelves were stocked during the pandemic, when curfews through the municipality were also temporarily lifted to facilitate these essential freight movements – a commitment to truck bans has been welcomed.

“My comments are not anti-truckies – but pro-residents health and wellbeing,” he added.

Once the $6.7 billion West Gate Tunnel Project is completed (which is due in 2025), 24-hour truck bans will apply to:

  • Francis Street – between Roberts Street and Hyde Street.
    • Somerville Road – between Geelong Road and Whitehall Street.
    • Buckley Street and part of Napier Street – between Geelong Road and Whitehall Street.
    • Moore Street – between Ballarat Road and Hopkins Street.
    • Hudsons Road – between Melbourne Road and Booker Street.
    • Blackshaws Road – between Grieve Parade and Melbourne Road.

According to the Victorian Government, the West Gate Tunnel Project will take over 9000 trucks a day off local streets and prevent an additional 5000 trucks from taking “rat runs” to avoid the West Gate Freeway.

However the Maribyrnong City Council wants to see more done. Among the items it is advocating for are:

  • A ban on all diesel and petrol vehicle sales by 2030;
  • Legislation to reduce emissions from diesel trains by replacing them with electro-diesel trains; and
  • The fast tracking of an electric vehicle bus fleet for the inner west.
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