Truck­ies: ‘Where can we go?’

Big Rigs - - NEWS - Kate Dodd kate.dodd@bi­

GOOMERI BP is like home to truckie Mick Bow­den.

He gets along with the staff like a house on fire and says it’s a great place to stop when he needs a rest or a shower or a feed.

But he got the shock of his life when he was wo­ken from his sleep by the town’s po­lice of­fi­cer, who he said told him to turn his truck off, or move along.

Mick was shocked the of­fi­cer’s re­quest, given that he’d parked in what he be­lieved was a des­ig­nated park­ing bay for heavy ve­hi­cles.

Not long af­ter that in­ci­dent, Mick re­ceived a let­ter from the of­fi­cer in charge of the Goomeri Po­lice Sta­tion, warn­ing that the heavy ve­hi­cle pull-off and park­ing area pro­vided by the Gympie Re­gional Coun­cil near the BP and Shell ser­vice sta­tions on Moore St was for short-term park­ing only.

“This en­ables driv­ers to stop for a meal break and use fa­cil­i­tates such as shower and bath­room fa­cil­i­ties if pro­vided,” the let­ter read.

It went on to say that due to the “in­creased num­ber of heavy ve­hi­cles park­ing overnight and the in­creased noise of gen­er­a­tors and air con­di­tion­ing and re­frig­er­ated con­tain­ers for ex­ceed­ing al­lowed parked ve­hi­cle deci­bel lev­els, that these road rules would be en­forced as of July 1, 2018”.

The let­ter stated that Moore St, Goomeri, was a 50km/h built up area and that in ac­cor­dance with the Queens­land Trans­port Op­er­a­tions (Road Use Man­age­ment – Road Rules) Reg­u­la­tion 2009, heavy mo­tor ve­hi­cles could not park in ex­cess of one hour in a 50km/h built up area.

Ac­cord­ing to Queens­land Po­lice, that fine is $126.15.

The con­tents of the let­ter shocked Mick be­cause the park­ing bay had been there “long be­fore I started (truck­ing)”.

Truck driver Dar­ren An­thony, who also reg­u­larly uses the truck stop dur­ing his runs, la­belled the let­ter “lu­di­crous”.

“There is noth­ing to say that we can’t park there,” he told Big Rigs. “Where else can we go? “We don’t park in town, we park near the servo and the show­grounds.

“I don’t un­der­stand what’s go­ing on.”

A Queens­land Po­lice Ser­vice spokesman said: “Goomeri po­lice had re­ceived a num­ber of com­plaints from mem­bers of the com­mu­nity re­cently due to a large num­ber of heavy ve­hi­cles park­ing overnight on Moore St, which is a 50km/h zone.”

The spokesper­son said the of­fi­cer in charge wrote the let­ter to ad­vise heavy ve­hi­cle op­er­a­tors of this and that fines may ap­ply if they con­tin­ued to park there.

How­ever, a few days later af­ter Big Rigs got in­volved, a sec­ond let­ter was is­sued by po­lice, that ap­peared to have of­fered up a com­pro­mise.

The let­ter, dated May 24, re­it­er­ated that the park­ing bay on Moore St was for short-term park­ing only, how­ever, said that “af­ter con­sul­ta­tion with truck driv­ers and op­er­a­tors it has been agreed ini­tial en­force­ment will only be taken on ve­hi­cles park­ing north of the ini­tial park­ing bay si­t­u­ated on the Moore St, north­bound lane af­ter Hay­den St, Goomeri”.

In a win for the in­dus­try, the let­ter also stated that Goomeri po­lice would pe­ti­tion the coun­cil and Main Roads Queens­land and seek sup­port from the truck­ing in­dus­try and op­er­a­tors that a ded­i­cated off-road truck park­ing area be cre­ated with ad­e­quate bar­ri­ers and rubbish fa­cil­i­ties for long haul driv­ers on the out­skirts of town.

Queens­land Truck­ing As­so­ci­a­tion chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer Gary Ma­hon said is­sues such as the park­ing at Goomeri cropped up all over the state.

“Our mes­sage gen­er­ally across the coun­try to all state gov­ern­ments and/or the na­tional govern­ment is that they are very keen to leg­is­late and en­force our driv­ing hour re­stric­tions and fa­tigue man­age­ment and so forth, and quite right­fully so,” he said.

“But what goes with that is pro­vid­ing rea­son­able op­por­tu­ni­ties to be able to rest.

“There’s not a lot of oth­ers along that route. Just by the very fact that it’s as pop­u­lar as it is, tells you it’s prob­a­bly right on, or about, a break point for driv­ers head­ing north or south.

“You’ve got the other chal­lenge then, if they’ve got to go an­other hour or two up the road, then they’re go­ing to be out of hours, or what­ever the case may be.”

■ For a first-hand ac­count of a night at a truck stop, go to page 43 for ATA CEO Ben Maguire’s col­umn.


GOOMERI PARK­ING: Where Gympie Re­gional Coun­cil says heavy ve­hi­cles can park on Moore St, Goomeri.

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