Dairy farmer Peter Walton beside Shadbolt Road which Gympie Regional Council want to stop milk tankers from using, which will affect his farm’s viability.
Dairy farmer Peter Walton beside Shadbolt Road which Gympie Regional Council want to stop milk tankers from using, which will affect his farm’s viability. Craig Warhurst

Dairy farm dumps milk down drain

FIVE milkings or two-and-a-half days of work was tipped down the drain in March when Jurss’ Transport was unable to collect milk from the Walton’s dairy farm on Shadbolt Road.

Peter Walton said Jurss could not collect the 5485 litres of milk because Shadbolt Road was unmaintained by council and became dangerous in the wet, which is the reason Jurss had to use the road in the first place.

The only way into the Walton dairy farm when there is localised flooding, such as that experienced in March when Noosa Road flooded, is via Shadbolt Road.

Mr Walton said in the 25 years he owned the dairy farm on Shadbolt Road he never had to dump milk because it couldn’t be collected.

And now Gympie Regional Council is looking into drafting a new local law that will restrict the types of vehicles accessing the road, effectively banning milk tankers.

“It’s just not fair,” Mr Walton said upon hearing the news yesterday.

He said there were three dairy farms on Shadbolt Road – which was the only road into town when it flooded – and they would all be affected if semi-trailers weren’t allowed to use the road.

Graham Holt, who works at the Walton dairy farm, asked what the council expected the farm to do if the roads flooded.

“If they put a load limit on the road how do we get the milk out?” he aasked. “Do we ring council and ask them to carry it out in buckets?”

Mr Walton said he paid his rates and road levies and called on the council to do more maintenance on the road to make it safe.

He said in the wet, trucks lost their grip, slid down the road and got bogged going uphill.

“It wasn’t dangerous two or 20 years ago,” Mr Walton said. “Now it’s dangerous because they haven’t maintained it.”

“I have a right to operate my business. The transport companies only have semis. We need to get in and out.”

Mr Walton said he would have to close business if trucks were not allowed to use the road.

Gympie Times


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