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Monday, November 21, 2005

Town fears log trucks

The Mercury: Town fears log trucks [22nov05]

RESIDENTS of the East Tamar town of Dilston could have an extra 673 log trucks a week pass by their front door if rail operations close down in Tasmania.

Gunns Limited had proposed moving up to 800,000 tonnes of logs a year by rail to a pulp mill at Long Reach.

But doubts about the future of rail means an extra 35,000 truckloads a year would be moved on Tasmanian roads -- 673 a week.

Residents are concerned about issues of safety and noise as trucks travel the 25km down the East Tamar Highway to Long Reach.

The possible impact has prompted the Resource Planning and Development Commission to request that Gunns Limited look at the issue in the firm's Integrated Impact Statement

Pacific National Tasmania has indicated it will cease rail services between Hobart, Burnie and Bell Bay unless it receives significant Government support.

The RPDC said recently raised doubts about rail viability had caused it to amend the draft scope guidelines.

"The commission therefore requires the proponent to describe and address any issues and implications for road transport in the event that:

* The existing rail network is not available for use.

* No additional rail infrastructure will be provided.

In its revised project description Gunns Limited said the Long Reach site has "been selected to allow the possibilities for rail transport of raw materials and product."

Dilston resident Tony Walker said that a committee had been formed at a recent public meeting.

"We think it is inappropriate that major industrial traffic should go through a residential area," he said.

Gunns Limited has said it would process between 2.6 million and four million tonnes of woodchips at the pulp mill.

The State and Federal Governments are awaiting independent reports before they make an announcement about the future of rail.


At 9:11 PM, November 24, 2005, Blogger randomwalker said...

sounds like a great movie title .....

<< The Trucks That Ate Dilston>>

directed of course by Peter Were-wolf


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