No Budget Money For The Gocup Road.
Nationals Will Do Nothing Either : Time To end The Curfew On Road Traffic Through Adelong And Lift The Lid On Dirty Politics
The matter of fixing the Gocup Road ( Gundagai - Tumut ) should be pretty straight forward. Yet, it's the hardest thing for any authority to manage. It is a sage that's been going on for more than a decade after Visy opened a mill in Tumut.
The recent Labor Federal budget did nothing to provide the needed funding to upgrade this dangerous road.
Of course, as this article reveals, there's a lot of crocodile tears from the National Party Federal MP, Michael McCormack. We can expect little either when he's a member of the Abbott government come September 14.
As for State MP Daryl Maquire who also holds a brief to represent people on the matter, he's too busy toadying to the Chinese Wuai Corporation for his beloved Trade Centre, than to have the New South Wales Liberal Government do much about it either.
So, what's the problem ?
The Curfew Through Adelong
On New years Eve 2010, the Australian Long Distance Owners` And Drivers` Association ( ALDODA) filed with the then NSW Labor Minister for Roads a submission to take a curfew off running trucks through Adelong to the Visy plant in Tumut. The curfew was part of the adopted development plan and operates between 10pm and 6am. The ALDODA argued that since the curfew was imposed long ago, trucks coming north at night had to travel past the Adelong turn on the Hume Highway and then proceed to Gundagai - and finally turn down the Gocup Road to Tumut. It was argued that the road was substandard and dangerous, had deteriorated since the order was imposed and added extra time and costs to the trip. Since there was no action from anyone over repairing the road, it was considered that the simplest thing would be to take the curfew away.
It is very, very curious to note that the curfew affects only trucks going to and from the Visy plant. It does not affect vehicles which may be proceeding to Tumut on other deliveries.
It is also important to note that Toll group vehicles can go through Adelong to Visy in Tumut any hour of the day and night, something managed by a convenient ruse which has the company maintaining a 'depot' in Adelong; a vehicle can enter the depot and just drive out and on to Tumut. Should the advantage given to Toll be considered a restriction of trade and competition ? Should Fair Trading get involved ?
But as ALDODA found getting any action on the curfew just isn't simple. Indeed, their submission of 2010 never even earned a reply.
A Tale From A Fairy-book
The origins of the curfew order in the Development Plan are not clear. The discussion for the original curfew was done in secret and with the absence of real consultation. Why ?
The Council now insists that Visy wanted the order; Visy says it's not their concern and it's the Council's concern and that they are not really interested in it; the Roads and Maritime Service say that it's only Visy that can move it.
One thing is for sure. A rather useless set of local would-bes called the Adelong Progress wanted the curfew order. This group has operated as a little parliament of the 'in crowd' for years, playing a venal role in restricting commerce in Adelong.
It seems too that the Progress group are mixed certain individuals in the Shire Council administration.
not too long ago, the Mayor said she didn't want the curfew lifted so there would be leverage to pressure the Federal government for funds for the Gocup Road - which amazingly don't have to be spent on the Gocup road !!! Is it that the some on Council and in the administration saw the Gocup Road as a potential cash cow ?
Of course, Adelong suffers in small ways and drivers pay the price with additional business costs and one day some may pay the ultimate price, dying on an unsafe road.
A citizen made an ICAC complaint last year which was taken on board but not investigated. The complaint referred to road contracts at Snowy Works playing some role in the Gocup affair. We cannot say more about that here.
But certainly, it is time for an open look, not only at certain local players, but at the affair of the Gocup road generally.
In this campaign, Lorraine Sharp says: end the Adelong curfew !
Special note: this matter will feature again and we would whet our readers appetites by saying that this whole affair, like some other rottenness at Adelong- comes up 'paedophiles'. And we kid you not.
Why I Stand Up For Truckies
Australian truck drivers are unrecognised Australian heroes for the work they do and the crap they have to put up with and it's high time the government made the Australian transport industry a priority.
We would demand:
1. An end to all toll roads.
2. An end to the fines regime that serves the big companies and destroys small business.
3. It is time truck driving became a trade with proper qualifications and pay scales to attract good people into the industry.
4. End the world-parity-pricing for fuel.
5. Develop an Australian fuel industry.
6. An end to over-regulation via the log-book-system, whether the current one or the 'reformed' book soon to be announced.
To get these things we should support fighting owner-driver groups like the Australian long Distance Owners And Drivers Association.