Truck anger grows
Wednesday, 19th May, 2010
The group “Residents Against Contaminated Environments” has been inundated with calls following the mayor’s dismissive comments about trucking movements from the Potosi mine.
RACE, formed last year to get a better outcome for residents in relation to mining activities, said members were angry that Mayor Wincen Cuy said a request by Perilya to move up to 108 B-double trucks per day could disrupt “maybe a few people”.
“I have had so many angry people calling me,” said founding member Kathy Holmes.
“The inconvenience of ‘a few people’. The very few residents he’s talking about - and there are quite a few - are all ratepayers and ratepayers voted him and the rest of the Council in.”
On local ABC Radio on Monday, Mr Cuy dismissed claims that Perilya wanted to run more than 100 Bdouble trucks per day through the city.
He was also unsure what hours the mining company intended to run trucks from their Potosi mine through the city to their mine in South Broken Hill.
Mr Cuy was not challenged on the figures by the ABC’s announcer and is yet to return the BDT’s requests for an interview.
“It’s not 100 trucks,” Mr Cuy told the ABC.
“The briefing that we’ve been ... given it’ll be about one an hour on a 24 hour - but they don’t want to be ... hauling 24 hours neither.
“That’s the briefing we’ve been given and I don’t see where 100 trucks come into it.”
Mr Cuy said while the impact should be minimised where possible, jobs should be considered before the disruption to “a few people”.
“Anywhere where we can actually achieve less impact on the community would be welcome,” he said.
“But we’re talking that this facility, Potosi, is looking at somewhere over 100 jobs, you know, so as a Council and as a responsible citizen we have to take that into consideration of the well-being of the whole community as versus the disruption of maybe a few people.”
The claims are in contrast to Perilya’s Potosi mine development application, which states clearly the company wants the option of running as many as 108 trucks through the city in a 24-hours a day operation.
Perilya’s managing director Paul Arndt also contradicted the company’s own documents on ABC radio last week claiming the figure was “nonsense”.
But RACE wanted to know why a request to run that many trucks on a 24 hour basis was included in Perilya’s DA.
“They say they don’t want that many trucks but why have they asked for it?” Mrs Holmes said.
“That just makes everyone suspicious right off the bat."
“(Does) Perilya really expect the ... rate payers to not only endure these extra trucks and be put at extra risk on the roads, but to pay to repair the damage (as well)?
“This is what we think is nonsense.”
RACE said it realised the route being proposed was, for the most part, already road train approved but it was concerned about round-the-clock trucking movements.
“Yes it is (a road train route) and we do expect trucks during the day, but all night and all weekend? There’ll be no respite,” said Ms Holmes.
RACE said while it supported the opening of the Potosi mine it wanted Perilya to consider other options to shift the ore.
“I’m not saying we couldn’t use the jobs in Broken Hill - I think it’s a good thing but there’s ways around it,”
“Of course the other options will eat into (Perilya’s) profits but it won’t be much.
“They’re going to make a ton out of this - if they even used a fraction - they’ve got that many options.
“Council should be insisting on (Perilya using other options).
“We’ve got to look after our residents. The mine could be gone soon but the residents will still be here.”
Today is the last day for the public to make submissions on Perilya’s development application, which is available for viewing at Council’s office in Blende Street.
RACE will hold their next meeting at the All Nations Hotel on Monday at 7pm and all residents of the city were welcome to attend, Ms Holmes said.