Gidgegannup residents stonewall gravel pit plans

Gidgegannup residents stonewall gravel pit plans

GIDGEGANNUP residents have opposed expansion plans for a gravel pit off a ‘high crash risk’ road.

Trico Resources and Swan Gravel have applied to increase heavy truck movements from 20 to 132 a day on Toodyay Road and increase extractions from 47,000 to 950,000 tonnes at the Bailup site.

Shire of Mundaring councillors will consider the proposal at a council meeting in March, together with about 100 public submissions, after the comment period ended on January 2.

Gidgegannup Progress Association is among the local groups against the pit expansion.

Chairwoman Sally Block said more heavy trucks on Toodyay Road would have a significant impact.

She said the proposal was “very different” to the one approved in 2010, with plans to boost daily crushing from 200 tonnes to 3000-4000 tonnes.

“Residents have stated they already experience difficulties entering and exiting their properties in this area due to the substantially increased number of trucks using the road in this 100kph zone,” she said.

“The road has several bends and rises that make the approach of these trucks unpredictable.”

She said the GPA asked Main Roads to apply conditions on larger capacity trucks’ use of local roads as “short cuts” and for reduced speed limits near the Berry and Bailup road intersections.

“This is for safety reasons and also that the surface of the local roads will deteriorate rapidly with daily usage by these trucks,” she said.

The Wheatbelt Road Safety Review identified Toodyay Road as a “high crash risk”, with reports of 10 fatal and 39 serious injury crashes in the past five years.

Safety measures to improve the road were stepped up in September when Acting Road Safety Commissioner Iain Cameron announced a $17.2 million allocation from the Road Trauma Trust Account for further works.

Road deposits from truck tyres, poorly secured loads and unsightly stockpiles are among the other concerns.

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