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NSW, RailCorp told to pay up for road
NSW, RailCorp told to pay up for road

FED UP: Paterson residents protest the number of truck movements through the main street. 160709CB2

EMMA SWAIN, MTL 17/07/2009 10:11:00 AM
One small village. One large government.
The people of the historic village of Paterson have stepped into the ring to take on the State Government and make transport body RailCorp pay its share of road maintenance costs.
More than 25 Paterson residents held a protest in the township’s main street yesterday to make people aware of the increase in truck movements through the village.
Carrying placards displaying messages such as Respect Our Village and Rail As An Option, the residents and members of Paterson Action Group made their stance.
But the action won’t stop with a single protest, with Dungog Shire Council planning to take RailCorp to court.
According to the council, RailCorp – which runs Martins Creek Quarry – has been operating outside its approval and has not paid the required 4c per tonne/per kilometre for two years, resulting in a loss to the shire’s road maintenance of about $600,000.
Council is now looking at spending $100,000 to take RailCorp to the Land and Environment Court.
“We are about $600,000 down and RailCorp hasn’t even come to the party, and look at our roads,” Dungog Shire councillor Robert Booth said.
“So now we are going to force them to do something about it and we as councillors have voted to take RailCorp to court and it’s going to cost us $100,000 at least.”
Cr Booth said RailCorp also has a licence to increase its export from 500,000 tonnes to two million a year, increasing the number of truck movements fourfold each day.
“This would mean an increase of truck movements from about 110 a day to 450 a day ... that’s a massive increase and Paterson was not built for this. It used to be a horse town.”
Paterson resident Wally Fletcher said if RailCorp planned to increase truck movements through the village, then the Government needed to dig deeper and contribute to road maintenance costs.
“These trucks are going to continue destroying this town if something isn’t done now,” Mr Fletcher said.
“It’s called RailCorp for a reason, so use the rail.
“RailCorp doesn’t want to pay anything, they just want to rape the town and here we are.”
In 2007, Dungog Shire Council held a public meeting to gauge community concern over the
Martins Creek Quarry.
More than 100 residents showed up to the meeting to express their concern and, according to council, RailCorp gave a commitment to regulate their transport activities.
To date, council reports that RailCorp has not fulfilled this commitment.
“We have asked RailCorp to increase their railway movements and to use the rail to export product, but we just can’t get a response,” Cr Booth said.
Martins Creek Quarry generates 50,000 truck movements a year and exports 700,000 tonnes of product.
The matter will go before Dungog Shire Council next Tuesday night.
The Mercury contacted RailCorp for a comment but had not received a reply by late yesterday.

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NSW, RailCorp told to pay up for road - by Ed - 19-Jul-2009, 09:46 AM

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