Truck plan should be challenged

ILLAWARRA transport expert Philip Laird has urged Wollongong City Council to object to Boral's plans for a 50 per cent increase in truck movements to and from its Dunmore hard-rock quarry.

Boral lodged an application with NSW Planning late last year seeking to raise its current road haulage limit of one million tonnes of product to 1.5 million tonnes.

The move would increase the number of trucks coming out of the site from 110 a day to 165.

An impact assessment of the proposed changes concluded that the extra trucks would "have minimal or negligible impact on the existing road network".

However, Mr Laird, speaking at last night's council meeting on behalf of the Wollongong Transport Coalition, disagreed.

"Given the high number of trucks already on Mt Ousley Road, we do not need extra road haulage from Dunmore on Mt Ousley," he said.

He urged the council to write to NSW Planning expressing concern about the proposal.

Mr Laird also lambasted the lack of attention given to Mt Ousley in the recently released draft state freight and ports strategy.

"Decisions in recent years by the NSW government have allowed for more grain and coal trucks on top of car carriers, quarry trucks and general freight trucks on Mt Ousley," he said.

"This has led to cumulative impacts including congestion and truck noise.

"Mt Ousley gets just one mention in the freight strategy - nothing is written about extra lanes or an underpass or overpass at or near the intersection of Mt Ousley Road and the F6.

"This intersection was the scene of a fatal accident just before Christmas and is one of the busiest on the Princes Highway.

"It needs grade separation, which could also provide an improved access to the University of Wollongong."

Mr Laird called on the council to make a submission to the strategy, asking the NSW government to impose stricter conditions on road haulage, shift more freight to rail, and push for a speedier completion of the Maldon-Dombarton rail link.

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