Boral truck action threatens tourism plans
TOODYAY is on a collision course between more quarry trucks and weekend tourism.
Toodyay shire councillors recently abandoned a long-standing policy to allow six-day operations at local quarries after two new members argued successfully that allowing Boral Resources (WA) Ltd to operate up to 120 more trucks on Toodyay Road on Saturdays would harm tourism.
However, Boral has applied to the State Administrative Tribunal (SAT) to overturn the shire’s new Saturday truck ban.Read more
Councillors have imposed similar restrictions on two other big Perth companies – Austral Bricks and Midland Brick – which had sought shire permission to operate a further 90 trucks a day on Toodyay Road, including on Saturdays.
The shire’s new tourist strategy describes tourism as a key driver for Toodyay’s economic development.
It says there is a “significant opportunity” to increase weekend and day trips from Perth.
Shire President Brian Rayner voted in July to prevent Boral quarry trucks operating on Saturdays but spoke against similar bans imposed last month on the two other quarries.
He said there had been no agreement at a recent SAT mediation meeting in Toodyay between shire and Boral representatives.
“Saturdays was the sticking point”, President Rayner said.
“They were not willing to concede – they’ve been doing it for 30 years so why cut back now?”
“Tourism came up strongly but it’s hard to defend when something has been going on for 30 years.
“It makes it very hard to cut out.”
President Rayner said he had made his views known at the mediation meeting, which was attended by a shire lawyer and “probably cost about $5000”.
“If it goes to a SAT hearing, it will probably cost the shire another $15,000,” he said.
“We now have to come up with a solution and it will go back to council.”
Shire Deputy President Therese Chitty – who also spoke against the Saturday truck ban at last month’s council meeting – said she had not heard any complaints from tourists about heavy truck traffic on Toodyay Road.
However Cr Bill Manning said tourists stuck behind quarry trucks on Toodyay Road were unlikely to call the shire to complain.
“They simply wouldn’t come back to Toodyay,” he said.
Perth landfill company Opal Vale’s plan to operate a further 60 heavy trucks and trailers a day between Perth and Hoddys Well means heavy haulage on Toodyay Road could increase by up to 270 vehicles a day, or one big truck every two and a half minutes.
Toodyay Chamber of Commerce and Industry President Bob Schrader said the chamber had not discussed the issue.
However, his personal view was that the town’s future relied on tourism, and allowing more trucks on Toodyay Road on weekends would be detrimental to that future.
“Anything that impedes the flow of traffic to Toodyay on Saturdays would be a retrograde step,’ he said.