Sen Ian Macdonald.
Sen Ian Macdonald. CHRIS ISON

Suing for a good night's sleep?

RESIDENTS whose lives are being ruined by truck movements at Rockhampton's main mail centre are being told to sue Australia Post for a good night's sleep.

Senator Ian Macdonald told a Senate Estimates hearing in Canberra he believed legal action would be successful to stop the government agency from operating heavy truck deliveries throughout the night at the North Rockhampton Mail Centre in Elphinstone St.

The Coalition spokesman on northern and remote Australia has taken a personal interest in the plight of those who live near the mail centre and he's taken the issue to the heart of government.

Senator Macdonald, a qualified lawyer, said he was confident residents would win if they sued.

“Despite numerous meetings with residents and Australia Post staff, including an on-site meeting in April, nothing has been done,” he said.

He told senators he had written scores of letters on behalf of people who were losing sleep and suffering health problems as a result of B-double and B-triple trucks coming and going throughout the night.

“It's all been to no avail, apart from an offer to build a ridiculous four-metre high acoustic fence around the centre,” he said.

“These are people who've lived there all their lives, they're average Australians, many of them are now retired and it's not fair to them that they should have to put up with two hours sleep a night.”

Senator Macdonald pleaded with the relevant minister – Senator Stephen Conroy – to find some money in the budget to pay for Australia Post to move to a more suitable location.

Earlier this month Rockhampton Regional Council voted unanimously to ask the State Government to restrict heavy vehicle movements at the centre.

Cr Tony Williams said the Department of Transport could issue permits for B-doubles and B-triples with a ban on access to Elphinstone St from midnight to 6am.

“I get complaints on a regular basis and there have been numerous attempts to get some resolution but there is still plenty of disturbance and concerns about safety,” he said.

Cr Williams doubted legal action was practical. “It would be expensive for residents and would take a long time. Australia Post needs to relocate to an industrial area,” he said.

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