We are sitting here going broke, drivers claim Trucks grind to halt
TRUCK drivers have accused police and the Main Roads Department of being ridiculous about water heights and road closures on the Bruce Highway at Ingham.
Truck drivers were left f u mi n g y e s t e r d a y wh e n Main Roads Department officers and police kept the Bruce Highway closed at the Seymour River just north of Ingham.
Cardwell-based road transporter Bob McMillan said big trucks could easily drive through the water, which he said was about 20cm deep.
Mr McMillan said it was ridiculous and enormously costly to keep the highway closed to large trucks.
Mr McMillan, who was carting South Australian onions to a Coles distribution centre at Atherton, said there were 25 northb o und t r ucks p a r ked a t Andy’s Roadhouse on Ingham’s southern outskirts yesterday afternoon. He said a d d i t i o n a l n o r t h - b o u n d COSTLY: Flooding has affected many parts of the Bruce Highway halting the flow of supply
trucks, including this crossing near Cairns trucks were parked on Ingham’s northern outskirts.
‘‘ It’s the same in Cardwell where all the south-bound trucks have stopped.’’
Mr McMillan said he had stopped in Townsville on Monday night when the road closed near the Seymour River north of Ingham. He said he was advised that the highway would reopen yesterday at 1pm.
‘‘ I left Townsville at 10am and here we are still pulled up in Cardwell at 10 to five in the afternoon and we still don’t know when we’ll get through. There’s 10 inches of water over the road and they won’t let us through,’’ he said. He said it was costing truck drivers thousands of dollars and causing untold upset and inconvenience in the community.
He said there were trucks at Andy’s Roadhouse carrying produce, cars and building materials.
‘‘ We are sitting here and going broke. It’s OK if you have to stop for a good reason, but not for this.’’
Mr McMillan said trucks could not take the inland r oute because of weight limits on the Gregory Development Rd between Lynd Junction and Mt Garnet. He said that parking up a truck just for a day cost between $ 1000 and $ 1200 and f or newer trucks it could be as high as $ 2000.
He said that on top of this was the disruption caused to business by goods not arriving at their destination on time. ‘‘ The people we are carting freight to have people employed at the other end. They are relying on this freight to keep people employed,’’ he said.
Mr McMillan said the system of road closure needed to b e r e v i s e d a nd f o r o ne agency to be involved in the decision making.
A marine recovery worker in Cardwell said there were scores of cars and trucks parked in the town. He said that with no accommodation in the cyclone-ravaged community nor in the nearby centres of Tully, Mission Beach and Innisfail, there was little people could do but stay in their cars.