23 Feb Dust fails to settle on Duchess Road
Future town planning changes may be the only way to avoid a repeat of the dangerous dust levels that have for years plagued residents on Duchess Road, Traeger MP Robbie Katter has said.
Mr Katter said he, and his office, had been in receipt of numerous complaints over the years about the increased, and unrelenting, heavy vehicle activity on Duchess Road in Mount Isa.
He said he had engaged extensively with key stakeholders, including the site’s owners, tenants Aurizon, and Mount Isa City Council, however it appeared all operations were within the guidelines set by local and state laws.
But the local MP remains concerned about the issue, due to the risks posed by the uncontrolled dust levels to road users including children on bikes.
Quality of life is also being impacted for residents who live on Duchess road, he said.
“There is no problem with low levels of heavy haulage vehicles on Duchess Road, but certainly not in the volume that we have seen in recent times,” Mr Katter said.
“Furthermore, that volume of yard activity without sealed hard-sand, that close to town, should not be accepted under the town plan.
“The owners are absentee, being former residents and the tenants believe they are operating within government guidelines.
“We have had reports, including loads of photos and videos, of vast increases in dust levels from neighbours since the current user moved onto site.
“One report came from the public over the dirt being dragged onto the road from the ‘wet-down’ truck yard forming dust deposits that plume when vehicles pass.
“This obviously creates a very dangerous situation for kids riding home on bikes along this road when the sun is lower.”
Mr Katter said another reason for the incompatibility of the site for high volume heavy transport was that the majority of the freight from the yard is transported to Mount Isa Mines.
“Therefore, it runs through the bottleneck between the two schools on Twenty Second Avenue, creating further safety concerns,” he said.
“Aurizon have been contacted but maintained they are operating within the laws therefore denying any social responsibility to the people of the city they operate in.
“It may be too late in the day to resolve this poor outcome but there needs to be effort to make sure this does not happen again.”
Mr Katter said he would write to Mount Isa City Council to ensure they were aware of his, and the community’s, concerns.