23 January 2007
Greens plan for no B-Doubles in NSW, more freight on rail
Greens MP and transport spokesperson, Lee Rhiannon met with North Coast Greens candidates in Grafton today to launch the Greens plan to shift freight transport back to rail and away from heavy trucks on our roads. The Greens policy would phase out B-Doubles and other heavy freight trucks from the Pacific Highway.
"The Greens are committed to banning B-Doubles from all NSW roads. We are working to phase out heavy freight trucks on the Pacific Highway by 2011. This is achievable if we expand rural freight lines", said Ms Rhiannon.
"Our communities are suffering because there are so many B-Double trucks on our roads. Putting more freight on rail would reduce the number of accidents and the amount of carbon emissions.
"At present about 350 B-Double trucks use the Pacific Highway each day and the Bureau of Transport & Regional Economics predicts that domestic freight movements will increase by 80% between 2000 – 2020.
"Communities along the Pacific Highway cannot sustain an extra 50,000 trucks on Australian roads by 2020, given that one road fatality in three involves an articulated truck.
"The Pacific Highway still needs an upgrade in many parts but these upgrades should not be used as an excuse to keep moving freight by truck.
"Big freight trucks put motorists and local residents under terrible stress, increase air pollution and cause many accidents on the North Coast.
"We need to boost our use of rural rail lines and coastal shipping to transport freight. Rail services need to be upgraded and maintained.
"The ALP and the Coalition are all talk and no action on this issue. The Iemma government has forced freight onto the Pacific Highway by subsidising truck registration and relegating rural rail lines around NSW to the rust-pile.
"Moving freight by rail is the cleaner, greener and safer option. Premier Iemma must rise to the challenge of cutting greenhouse gas emissions and restore the rural rail network in NSW," said Ms Rhiannon.