Sarah Keating can no longer ride along their country roads or access the nature trails.
Sarah Keating can no longer ride along their country roads or access the nature trails.

Rural residents fear daily ‘dice with death’

Pinbarren neighbours Sarah Keating and Debbie Campbell are fed up with taking their lives into their own hands just to pull out on to what used to be a sedate Kin Kin to Pomona Rd drive.

Now they feel more like they’ve landed in a scene from Mad Max as they contend with fast-moving B-double quarry trucks and are worried there is going to be a fatal crash.

Worst nightmare as trucks pound the roads

A rock way to go on the roads

“There’s blind bends everywhere, I nearly got wiped out yesterday,” Ms Keating said.

“I pulled out of my driveway and then a truck came past. I pulled out just behind him and just as I was pulling out another came around the blind corner.

“Suddenly he was upon me. He went right up behind me hooting … I was just like ‘oh my god’ and he tailgated me all the way into Pomona.”

Ms Keating has lived locally for three years and Ms Campbell for 11 years. They both moved looking for some rural peace and quiet which has been shattered since the Kin Kin quarry trucks have surged in numbers on the roads.

“My main worry is safety on the roads, it’s just horrendous,” Ms Keating said.

“We’re getting 250 trucks coming through a day now from 5.30 in the morning and they finish about 5.30 – 6 o’clock at night.

“They go through school pick up and drop off times and the roads are not suitable for any of these trucks.”

Locals are concerned about the number of quarry truck movements on their roads.
Locals are concerned about the number of quarry truck movements on their roads.

She said during her school runs to and from Cooran she has been pushed off the road on to the verge by trucks.

Ms Keating said almost all her neighbours run businesses which are being impacted by the heavy vehicle traffic.

“This is supposed to be the Noosa Country Drive and they’re plugging it ... It’s literally a heavy goods vehicle route, that’s all it is,” she said.

Ms Keating said the quarry has reportedly secured a contract for the Gympie highway upgrades which will be taking the trucks through that town in the months ahead.

“The primary school kids cross the road there where they’re going and these kids don’t understand those trucks. You’re getting convoys.”

Ms Keating said she can’t even take a horse float on the road.

She said greater policing of the roads was needed, but ultimately she wants a separate designated heavy vehicle access road direct to the Bruce Hwy, away from the towns.

“All you have to do is sit in the cafes as Pomona for half an hour and see how devastating it is the effect it’s having on those businesses,” she said.

Ms Campbell said she also has trouble getting in and out of her property and is held up by road workers filling in pot holes caused by the heavy haulage.

Quarry trucks have residents concerned around Kin Kin and surrounds.
Quarry trucks have residents concerned around Kin Kin and surrounds.

“If we had of known this we would have bought out in the Mary Valley where it’s quiet,” she said.

Pomona resident Karin Lerch said her town is also feeling the pressure of the huge volume of trucks going to quarry and would like to see a police presence on Reserve St coming into town.

She said walking back home from the town centre she counted nine trucks pass by in 500m in the middle of the day.

“They’re coming into town here at 5am and they’re empty so they rattle, rattle, rattle, rattle all the way into town and it’s really loud,” Ms Lerch said.

Quarry spokesman Martin Cordwell of quarry operator Cordwells Concrete said he was aware of the community concerns.

He said the company was working with the community, police, council and MP Sandy Bolton to find a solution.

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