Mercury (Hobart)

Old trucks making locals sick


OLD trucks are causing about $200m in pollution-related health costs nationwide every year, according to a report by Austroads – the parent group of state transport agencies.

The research reveals how ageing heavy vehicles are affecting the public, as the average age of Australian truck fleets is 15 years.

It found replacing pre-1996 trucks could bring a health benefit of at least $744m over seven years. Trucks at least 25 years old driven in urban areas result in an average pollutionr­elated health cost of up to 91c for every kilometre they travel.

A report by the Inner West Air Quality Community Reference Group, set up by the Victorian government, found Maribyrnon­g residents suffered higher rates of hospital admission for several illnesses.

Maribyrnon­g Truck Action Group president Martin Wurt said the public shouldn’t pay “a massive price for Melbourne to be moving their freight”.

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