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Koroit wants truck drivers to bypass town  

Credit:  Jono Pech, The Standard, www.standard.net.au 10 December 2011 ~~

Commercial Road residents and business owners are taking a stand against a barrage of trucks using Koroit as a route to the Macarthur wind farm, local sub-divisions and nearby quarries.

Frustrated by constant disruptions to their sleep, businesses and livelihoods, traders have come together to fight the problem and are protesting to key stakeholders in VicRoads, the Moyne Shire and the Department of Transport.

Helen Sheppard, who runs The Olde Courthouse Inn with husband Brian, said business had taken a hit since the wind farm project began.

“We have closed down half of our business because of the noise,” Mrs Sheppard told The Standard.

“The fact we supply guests with ear plugs is a little off the radar.

“These roads were never built to cope with this volume of trucks and the weight of the trucks.

“Koroit is a little Irish town and all the shops and houses are right on the road.

“It’s like a freight train going through your street.

“We’re not taking it anymore.

“We will protest whether we have to stand on the road and stop the trucks.”

Koroit resident Donna Sheppard-Wright said the traffic was a problem every day at all hours, taking away the town’s village ambience.

“It’s noisy, it’s dusty and above all else it’s dangerous,” she said.

“There isn’t much point stopping to chat to a shopkeeper or friend in Commercial Road, as it’s highly unlikely you will hear a word they say over the constant noise from the large volume of trucks passing through.”

Koroit Business and Tourism Association president Wendy Murley said an alternate route would be essential for the town’s safety and growth, with AGL Energy Limited now considering a feasible solution for its Macarthur wind farm trucks.

“I believe that the traffic management plans for all future major projects and our local quarries should divert all heavy vehicles around Commercial Road,” she said.

“Especially as there is a viable alternate route, and without doubt it should be put in place immediately before a serious accident occurs.”

Koroit has been anything but the peaceful country town Donna Storey and her partner moved to two years ago.

“We have to sleep in a back bedroom with windows shut and a fan running to block the truck noise which starts at 5.30am,” she said.

“Through the day in the shop I constantly deal with truck noise interrupting my phone calls and conversations with customers.

“We should not have to put up with this noise when alternative routes are available.”

Source:  Jono Pech, The Standard, www.standard.net.au 10 December 2011

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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