Desal trucks in town

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Desal trucks in town

Heavy load: Leongatha”s McCartin St could become a desalination truck route.

By Jane Ross

PARTS of the Wonthaggi desalination plant will be built in Morwell, leaving Leongatha as a thoroughfare for thousands of truck deliveries.
The bombshell was dropped during a briefing by AquaSure, the consortium chosen by the State Government to build the plant.
The Morwell trucks will be over and above deliveries to Wonthaggi from local quarries. There are a number of these in both the Latrobe and South Gippsland municipalities.
South Gippsland Shire acting chief executive Dirk Holwerda, knew nothing about the Morwell desalination connection until The Star told him.
“We had no idea,” said Mr Holwerda. “We’d certainly be interested. I’ll make some inquiries.”
During the briefing, AquaSure representatives said once construction proper starts next January or February, deliveries from all over the world and all around Australia, will be made to the 264 hectare location behind the sand dunes at Williamsons Beach.
They’ll come from Morwell too.
Morwell? Yes, a site, to construct parts of the plant proper, will be established there.
The representatives were quick to add that elements of the desalination plant that need to be trucked in, will be “cut to size” so they’re “more normal” rather than over size.
An over sized truck edged its way along the Bass Highway from Leongatha at around 8.30 yesterday morning, heading towards Inverloch. An escort with warning lights preceded the vehicle and cars going in the opposite direction had to move to the far side of the road to make way. There was no indication that the truck had anything to do with the desalination plant, but it’s a taste of things to come.
It’s quickly becoming obvious that the people of Bass Coast and South Gippsland shires have as yet no grasp of the magnitude of the desalination project nor its impact on this region.
There will be an overall traffic management plan and stringent hygiene requirements for vehicles entering the desalination construction zone. AquaSure has given those assurances.
Mr Holwerda agreed that South Gippsland Shire had thought it was more or less off the desalination hook once AquaSure confirmed the power would go underground.
Now there’s the Morwell impact.
Bass Coast Council infrastructure director Steve Piasente, said the desalination Environment Effects Statement refers to an additional 150 trucks a day on the roads resulting from the plant’s construction.
He thinks that is conservative.
His assessment has been underscored by a planning application from Donmix Wonthaggi, seeking to upgrade its concrete batching plant, with permission for 82 trucks an hour to ply between West Area Road and the desalination site.
Bass Coast mayor Cr John Duscher, said he attended a regional VicRoads briefing in Warragul on Friday.
“They’re acutely aware the impacts on roads will be very heavy,” he said.
“There will be materials coming from South Gippsland quarries, Phillip Island, Latrobe and Baw Baw shires.
“They’ll be coming from all over the place.
“There are real concerns.”
Cr Duscher pledged to continue to raise any of these with VicRoads.
“We fairly hammered it again at the meeting. I can assure you we will continue to hammer it.
“We’re not going to place our people at risk.
“We stressed the need for improved maintenance (on the highway) from Anderson to Leongatha.

Short URL: http://www.thestar.com.au/?p=62

Posted by SiteAdmin on Aug 25 2009. Filed under Uncategorized. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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