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To preserve and enhance the cultural environmental and social sustainability of the Tyagarah Area and its inhabitants

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April 14, 2003

RTA Task Force Meeting

Amit and Tony went Monday night strategy then Tues all morning task force with EPA, Road Transport Assoc, Bob Higgens (RTA), Coffs Harbor, Jan Mangelson (Open Shores). This was their 2nd meeting,

Amit's report on the Task Force:TF got Tony and Amit up to speed. Agenda included. Geoff Mellor (EPA) person (from Sydney) gave overview of Environmental criteria, explained what RTA can and can't do - its all non-mandatory. One important point is that they can say one thing to you, but then do something totally different so none of the lies the RTA told us are particularly important. We are in the Post Construction phase, i.,e. the phase where they fix all the mistakes made during the construction. Then there is the Noise Abatement phase where basically you are prioritized with everyone else and nothing gets done. So .. we are operating within their rules, which means that the sleepless nights further away from the road are irrelevant, since they are probably below the RTA's maximum levels (50 night, 55 day). The EPA have no statutory authority to police anything. There is a big push in SA to bring trucking industry into line with European standards, NSW may also come into line, which would bring things like brake emissions, engine noise etc into law. Benard Greenberg and Bob Johnson are the Ewingsdale reps. Jay Stricker (chair of task force) will write a report after next meeting. Bernard will write a counter-report to file with her.

Tony: We spent a lot of time listening to RTA's noise models, which say things like B-Doubles aren't any noisier, contrary to what everyone knows. (Tony thinks it is because they measure at road level rather than high where B-Double stacks are). The Consultants designs show berms etc etc to deal with the design, but clearly they aren't being used, Tony challenged them to show even one place where they used something from their models, instead they built the cheapest piece of road possible with none of the berms and noise barriers etc shown in the models. Their answer was to say "there was no point in debating the past". Hopefully we'll get independent readings done, since its clear that the readings being taken are inadequate. For example it appears the EPA has been taking 15 minute readings which could easily miss one of the B-Double convoys.

Posted at April 14, 2003 12:00 AM

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