Maribyrnong City Council has a Public Question Time at Council and Committee meetings where the public can seek responses from Council about issues affecting them. MTAG took advantage of this to ask some questions at the Council meeting on 18 October 2022.
First, MTAG asked Council whether the issue of trucks in Maribyrnong was one of the federal advocacy priorities raised when the Mayor travelled to Canberra to meet with Ministers and their offices, particularly the federal advocacy items in Council’s Air Quality Improvement Plan and the Inner West Air Quality Report.
The Chief Executive Officer advised that information was provided to Ministers and Ministerial offices regarding the health impact of poor air quality on the City of Maribyrnong community. Information was taken directly from Council’s Air Quality Improvement Plan, Climate Emergency Strategy and Climate Action Plan.
Specific requests to the Federal Government included:
- Initiate a heavy vehicle buy-back scheme and incentivise more fuel efficient heavy vehicles;
- Work in partnership with state governments to transition the diesel passenger and freight train network to electro-diesel;
- Introduce a ban on all diesel and petrol vehicle sales by 2030; and
- Introduce mandatory vehicle emission standards.
The CEO detailed that the Federal Government expressed interest in the role that cleaner and greener industrial, advanced technology and creative uses can play, particularly for the health and wellbeing of young people, and advised that Council will continue to advocate for this as a priority and engage across state and federal government for improved public health outcomes for our community.
MTAG also asked what action Council had taken in response to a pedestrian being struck and killed by a truck in the City of Maribyrnong in mid October 2022, and whether Council was concerned that this fatality had occurred on Moreland Road which is a continuation of Whitehall Street, a street that in recent years has seen two cyclists killed and another taken to hospital with serious injuries following accidents involving trucks.
The CEO acknowledged the recent tragic pedestrian fatality at the intersection of Moreland Street and Parker Street. Council Officers have discussed this incident with Victoria Police and the Department of Transport. The CEO advised that given the incident is currently under investigation, it was not appropriate for Council to comment further in relation to this particular event, but that more broadly, Council continues to partner with the Department of Transport and its other road safety partners to implement safety initiatives along arterial road corridors, especially for more vulnerable road users.
MTAG is pleased to see that Council has advocated to Federal government on the issue of trucks and their impact on air quality and is working with the Department of Transport and others to make our streets safer. However, talk can be easy and we hope that these meetings and discussions ultimately lead to real action to address the problems we face with trucks in our community every single day.