Herberton wants rethink on truck route from mine

North Queensland residents join with MP in trying to stop proposed truck route from copper mine

By Brad Gardner | September 8, 2011

The Queensland Government is being warned of potential safety risks if it allows a proposed truck route from a copper mine in Far North Queensland to go ahead.

Residents from the town of Herberton, south-west of Cairns, have asked the government to reject the suggested route from the Baal Gammon copper mine in Watsonville, which will send trucks down the main road.

Presenting a petition from 261 Herberton locals, Dalrymple MP Shane Knuth says there will be 30 round trips a day of ore trucks between 6am and 10pm. He wants the government to find an alternative route.

"The town is situated in a steep, hilly area and drivers will have to use air brakes and change gears at many points as they travel through the most heavily populated residential areas," he says.

"The proposed route will force trucks onto the steep narrow roads used by children walking home from two schools and a technical college. There is a duty of care to residents that any transport route would not put children’s lives at risk."

Knuth says the lack of a pedestrian crossing on the main street will also cause problems.

"The proposed route will mean elderly residents have to negotiate crossing the main street without a pedestrian crossing while a truck bears down a steep hill towards them," the Liberal-National MP says.

Mining company Kagara reached a deal with Minto Minerals in May on the Baal Gammon mine. Under the agreement, the company will mine, process and sell copper concentrate and take responsibility for development costs and approvals and regulatory requirements.

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