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‘They’ve thrown the locals to the wolves’: Council bans farmer’s trucks

Ben Fordham Exclusive

UPDATE: Bega Valley Shire Council say the matter will be considered at Wednesday afternoon’s council meeting.

This is yet another example of hard-working truckies being put in the firing line.

A few months ago, Bega Valley Shire Council introduced new rules for some of their local roads.

In an attempt to force interstate traffic off the smaller roads, the council banned trucks bigger than 15 tonnes from driving the 40km from Bemboka to Wolumla.

The ban forces trucks to take the highways instead, and essentially a much longer route to get where they need to go.

Ben Fordham admits the idea has a lot of merit but has slammed the council for not considering the local truckies who live and work on properties along the smaller roads.

“They’ve now got to drive in massive circles. They are adding up to 55km one-way to their journey,” says Ben.

A local truckie impacted by the ban, Patrick Heffernan, tells Ben Fordham it impacts on the ability for trucks, including grain and hay deliveries, to reach local dairies struggling already with the drought.

“They’ve thrown the locals to the wolves.

“If it’s not hard enough with the drought.

“All we’re asking for at the end of the day is some common sense,” Mr Heffernan tells Ben.

Click PLAY below to hear the full interview

To make matters worse, Mr Heffernan claims the council enforced the ban without any consultation with local truck drivers.

“The first we knew about it was when the signs went up initially and then the second we knew about it was when our trucks were being booked for going about our day-to-day business.”

Bega Valley Shire Council has since contacted the Sydney Live program, saying the matter will be considered at Wednesday afternoon’s council meeting.

Ben Fordham Exclusive