FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Q The trucks were here before the residents so don’t they have a right to use our streets?
A Most of Yarraville’s houses were built around the turn of the century, long before the trucks. Yes industry was here as well but modern road transport was only introduced in the 1950’s. The trucks came long after the houses and use roads never designed for modern trucks, particularly today’s monster double and triple trailers. Major road projects in the West like the Western Ring Road and Bolte Bridge have increased truck numbers enormously in our city.
Q How do you expect to get goods to local business if the trucks are banned?
A Yes we need trucks to supply our local shops and businesses. MTAG does not want to stop trucks with a local destination. However if a truck is not servicing a local address they should not be cutting through our suburbs and using our streets.
Q Where can the trucks go if they are banned from our streets?
A MTAG wants trucks without a local destination to use the Westgate Freeway and Citylink. VicRoads have done studies to show this saves time and fuel even when tolls are considered. Presently many trucks exit Westgate Freeway at Williamstown Road to avoid the tolls.
Q Francis Street and Somerville Road have truck curfews already. Isn’t this enough?
A VicRoads has put night curfews on these roads. However MTAG believes this is not enough. During curfew hours the trucks just use other residential streets such as Buckley Street and Barkly Street. These roads were never designed to carry heavy volumes of trucks. MTAG would also like daytime curfews that force through trucks to use the Westgate freeway (see our charter online).
Q The federal government has legislated to clean up our diesel fuel so what’s the health problem?
A Yes the federal government introduced new laws in January 2006 to reduce the amount of sulphur in diesel to 50 parts per million (ppm) down from 500 ppm. This is very welcome but Australia was years behind other countries in doing this. Even New Delhi in India had cleaner fuel before Australia. We wont get 10 ppm until January 2009 but even with lower levels of sulphur the trucks will continue to pump out other cancer causing emissions. Some countries have already legislated for 0 ppm sulphur in their diesel.
Q The Government is committed to getting 30% of freight onto rail by 2010 so wont the truck problems have gone by then?
A MTAG welcomes this target but it’s looking unlikely that it will be met. Also when you consider that container movements at Melbourne Port is projected to increase fivefold over the next 30 years, this target is not enough. Melbourne Port expects container movements to grow from today’s 1.4 million containers to 7 million by 2035.
Q Why doesn’t Maribyrnong Council just ban the trucks and container parks from our city?
A The major roads in our city are controlled by VicRoads and not our Council. Maribyrnong Council can enforce bans on minor roads and streets but not the major routes. The same applies for container parks, the council does not e the power to rezone current land use to force containers out of the municipality.
Q It’s only the new yuppies that don’t want the trucks in their back yards. Why don’t they just move out, the trucks were here first?
A Whether you have lived here for only one year or for 30 years it doesn’t matter. We in Melbourne’s West have just as much right to clean air and safe streets as someone living in Toorak. It doesn’t matter if you have just moved here or lived here for years, you should not have to put up with thousands of trucks spewing cancer-causing chemicals. According to VicRoads over 21,000 trucks per day used Maribyrnong roads in 2006.