Community & Business

1 March, 2022

Urgent solution sought for B-Double issue

THERE was a sense of urgency at Tablelands Regional Council last week as the organisation, the Malanda Show Society and local cattle producers tried to identify the quickest way to include two streets in Malanda to the designated B-Double route.

By Robyn Holmes

Photo - Dreamstime
Photo - Dreamstime

The issue has become urgent so that B-Doubles can continue to access the Malanda Showgrounds lawfully to load and unload cattle – the only option for many cattle producers in the area whose local roads cannot accommodate B-Double use. 

The situation came to light after cattle producer Colleen McLucas asked the council what would be needed to get the road near her property designated as part of the B-Double route so she could transport her cattle to abattoirs in Townsville. 

That request triggered an investigation which uncovered that many producers were in the same position and had been using Malanda Showgrounds to transport dairy and beef cattle to and from the area. 

But to enter the showgrounds, the trucks have been using Mary and Thomas Streets which are not designated as a B-double route. 

After a presentation to council by Show Society representative Greg English and Ms McLucas who both stressed how important it was to retain the service within the showgrounds, council had a lengthy discussion on how to resolve the situation, but it was clear everyone wanted a solution that would support the continuation of the practice. 

Council eventually agreed to apply to the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator to have the two streets gazetted as part of the B-Double route. 

If the application is unsuccessful, council will then seek to allow the main entrance to the showgrounds for trucks to enter and exit, noting that this option could trigger the need to alter the intersection and other infrastructure to allow access. 

Officers attempted to warn council that a traffic study and an assessment should be done before going down that track so they could identify any costs that might be incurred, but councillors did not want to wait and chose to forge ahead with the application. 

Councillor David Clifton, who raised the issue last month, recognised the plight of producers, saying it was critical to ensure they had a way to get their cattle to market. 

“My purpose in raising it was to get quickly get it on the table, define it and then work with the show society and with the producers to resolve it so that an essential support service can continue to be provided,” he said. 

Cr Dave Bilney said B-Doubles had been accessing the showgrounds for many years without any incident or issues until the unlawful use of the town’s streets had come to light. 

“There are about 20-25 movements a year, the infrastructure at the showgrounds is perfectly pro-vided to allow for the loading of unloading of stock, in a safe and secure manner rather than under-taking these things out on roadsides – so it’s imperative that this continues but we need to legiti-mise the practice,” he said.


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