Council puts the brakes on bigger trucks on Tweed roads
THE debate over water extraction in the Tweed continues, as Tweed Shire Council defers its decision on whether to approve increasing the weight limits of water trucks.
Two trucking companies, that each have contracts with water extraction companies in the Tweed Valley, are applying to have their loads increased from 50 tonne to 55 tonne on B-double configurations.
But concerns have been raised by Tweed Water Alliance (TWA) that increasing the trucking capabilities won't decrease the amount of journeys the trucks take, nor increase safetytravelling through small towns.
Council at Thursday's meeting voted 4-3 to defer its decision over the application until a workshop is held with TWA and the applicants on any safety concerns.
"In terms of safety, the larger, heavier trucks, through basic physics, are going to have a longer stopping distance," Cr Cherry said, after her motion to refuse the application was rejected.
"Having these trucks going through our towns passing our schools isn't OK.
"These trucking companies can operate up to 50 tonnes, we're not changing the business or shutting it down."
Mayor Katie Milne said it was important council considers every aspect of water extraction to ensure safety is maintained.
"It's really something that we need to get our heads around as a community," Cr Milne said.
But Cr Pryce Allsop said he believed increasing the trucking capacity would ensure the vehicles could travel safely to and from their destination.
"The reason that transport industry is moving to this style of truck is because there are more axles and the vehicle tracks better on the road," Cr Allsop said.
"Their movement is to try to minimise the impact. I think the trucking industry is trying to go in a direction that is better suited to maintaining the roads."