Too many B-doubles hauling coal on highway
CLERMONT residents already thought the Peak Downs Highway was too dangerous to handle five coal-hauling B-doubles an hour between Blair Athol mine and Moranbah.
Now they're fearing what will happen as the company plans to ramp up that number.
Blair Athol owner TerraCom announced in September it would haul coal from its mine along the highway but last week residents were told the number of trucks on the 110km stretch would increase.
And now there is confusion about how many trucks will be on the road.
Following a Clermont community meeting, residents and Member for Gregory Lachlan Millar believed 15-17 trucks would leave the mine each hour.
But TerraCom chief executive officer Jim Soorley told the Daily Mercury it would be only eight.
Regardless, Clermont farmer Andrew Harvey said the community was worried about the safety of children on school buses and tourists on the highway, which has sections just 6.2m wide.
He said there were also concerns about wear and tear on the road from an additional 360 trucks on the highway each day - a 225 per cent increase on the 160 heavy vehicles that make the trip daily.
TerraCom's road haulage decision, made with the State Government's blessing, has Mr Millar calling on the company and neighbouring miner Glencore to get back to the negotiating table to find a way to put Blair Athol coal on Glencore's rail network.
TerraCom had planned to use Glencore's rail network but claims the discussions fell through, forcing it to go by road until it rebuilt its coal handling facility and rail line to Blair Athol.
"Do you think we want to go to all the trouble and extra expense of bringing forward the old agriculture line?” Mr Soorley said.
A Glencore spokesman said the company had had "extensive discussions” with TerraCom on the handling of coal from Blair Athol to the Clermont rail loading facility.
"Draft contracts reflecting these discussions were delivered to TerraCom in early June this year but we have received no formal feedback,” the spokesman said.