We are sitting here go­ing broke, driv­ers claim Trucks grind to halt

Townsville Bulletin - - News - by John An­der­sen john. an­der­sen@ townsville­bul­letin. com. au

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.

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