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Haul route regrets

Thursday, 21st March, 2013

By Erica Visser

Mayor Wincen Cuy says he wishes that mining company Perilya had built a private haul road instead of carting ore through the city's streets.

Perilya will start up trial production at its Potosi mine on Friday and two trucks will go from there to its Southern Operations every hour.

Locals have expressed their concern about sharing the public roads with the trucks, but Perilya's general manager of Broken Hill operations told the BDT that safety measures are in place.

The company had previously offered to build a private haul road around the city, however City Council pushed for State and Federal funding to instead build a public road.

It had argued that a public road would assist with future projects and reduce trucks on the city's streets.

Council, which planned to contribute $1.5 million to the project, was forced to defer signing for Federal funding early this year due to a potential $7 million debt to Perilya.

Mr Hume told the BDT on Tuesday that Perilya was awaiting Council's next move in January 2014 before it would consider building a private road.

Mayor Cuy said yesterday that Council had no way of knowing about the giant debt when plans for the project were made.

Mayor Cuy said that he would rather Perilya build a private road than use the one designated - along the Barrier Highway, Crystal Street and South Road.

However, he had also not given up hope that the public heavy vehicle bypass road would eventuate.

"If I had two wishes, my first would be that we could build the heavy vehicle bypass. If I had a second wish, it would be that there was a haulage road so the community wasn't disadvantaged by Perilya bringing trucks through the city," Mayor Cuy said.

"I think that a heavy vehicle bypass road, whether it's private or not, would be of advantage."

However, Mayor Cuy admitted that it would not be likely to have both his wishes granted.

"Obviously it wouldn't be efficient to be done that way - a private one built and then a separate one - but it is possible," he said.

Mayor Cuy said that Perilya's access to the streets was a matter that was out of Council's hands.

"We have no control over them being on the road. They would have always had the ability to go through the already existing route."

The future of the planned road depended on the outcome of a Land and Environment Court appeal in July which will determine whether or not Council must pay Perilya the money owed for excess rate payments.

Mayor Cuy said that if the appeal was successful, Council would need to reconsider the matter of the road before once again committing to it.

Councillor Dave Gallagher said that the situation was "inconvenience" for residents.

"The situation is, what can we do at the present stage? I don't really like them on the roads. I know they're not going to be welcome but how can anyone stop someone driving on the road?"

Clr Gallagher said that Council would decide whether the contribution to a heavy vehicle bypass was a priority while working on the 2013/2014 budget.

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