KIN KIN RD SURVEY –We received 161 total responses, from 500 initially sent out via Australia Post and a further 450 delivered after Australia Post failed many with the first delivery. This survey was regarding whether Sandy should advocate for funding to repair/upgrade two identified priority sections on either side of the range. Yes – 83.23%, No – 14.29%, Undecided – 4.48%
KIN KIN RD UPGRADE – $6 million has been approved to upgrade a 800m section of Kin Kin Rd, between Williams and Turnbull Rds. Depending on outcomes from ecological investigations, works could commence early next year and take approximately 7 months. Meanwhile, we continue to advocate for the funding to complete the rest of these priority sections and the Department of Transport & Main Roads (TMR) continues to progress detailed design for these.
SECTION 46 TRANSPORT INFRASTRUCTURE ACT. As previously reported TMR have advised that there are legislative powers under section 46 of the Transport Infrastructure Act 1994 (TIA Act) to temporarily restrict certain classes of vehicles or to apply load limits relating to safety and impacts to infrastructure in some circumstances. Historically, these temporary restrictions have been applied to sections of road or bridges after flood inundation or similar events, to preserve road pavements or to undertake remedial repairs before normal load limits are returned.
- TMR has reviewed initial legal advice regarding potential regulatory/restriction options and impacts related to heavy vehicles on Kin Kin Road with advice that section 46 can only be implemented by the Director-General of TMR, as the Chief Executive of the relevant agency. Regarding heavy vehicles on Kin Kin Road, they advise that the current safety record and road condition does not provide a strong enough rationale or defence for implementing section 46 of the TIA, and that the ANRAM assessment completed was based on current vehicle numbers and crash data, and the risk level was reported in comparison to all state-controlled roads state-wide.
- 5 Min Rule – The QMP includes provisions for a ‘Contingency Plan’ to cater for periods when the designated route is not in service. This allows the quarry to submit a proposal to increase daily haulage volumes along the normal haulage route for a period of time until the ‘lost tonnage’ has been recovered.
- As the quarry has an approval limit of up to one million tonnes per year, the relevant authority may consider a proposal which would likely include a traffic management plan for the period of increased haulage to mitigate the potential risks. This may result in the trucks having staggered departures of less than five minutes for that period. In essence, yes, it could make the 5 minute rule redundant for that period.
CURRENTLY BETWEEN LEGALS – Due to time constrictions and legal complexities, as agreed with those in attendance, this was not covered at the Roundtable meeting as is subject to further legal clarification:
- Section 45(1) of the TIA provides that “A local government may exercise, for a State-controlled Road in its area, all the powers that it may exercise for a local government road in its area, subject to a direction issued by TMR not to exercise those powers for a state-controlled road. There may be some exceptions to this in s 45. Section 45(6) also provides that “The exercise of a power by a local government under this section is not a contravention of this Act”.
- Initial legal advice is that NSC can apply section 69 of the Local Government Act 2009 (the LGA) to permanently or temporarily close local roads, including to a particular class of vehicles. However, as noted previously, Council may have the same issue as State regarding rationale to use Section 46.
- Under section 69 of the Transport Operations (Road Use Management) Act 1995 (TORUM Act), a local government may install an official traffic sign, for example, limiting the speed of a particular class of vehicles on a ‘declared road’ with the written agreement of TMR. Legal advice is also that NSC can apply section 69 of the LGA to permanently or temporarily close local roads, including to a particular class of vehicles. To clarify, If TMR was to give a written agreement to NSC to exercise the power under section 69 of the TORUM Act, specifically for Kin Kin Road, then NSC could install signage limiting the speeds or hours of operation of the relevant quarry trucks, provided that certain requirements were met.
- Although we are still awaiting further legal clarification – we were advised that should Noosa Shire Council (NSC) wish to proceed, they would submit a written request to TMR to exercise its power under section 69 of the Transport Operations (Road Use Management) Act 1995 (TORUM Act), specifically for Kin Kin Road, and TMR would assess this request.
SENSITIVITY ANALYSIS OF KIN KIN RD – In response to our request for a sensitivity analysis after the findings from their ANRAM assessment, TMR has engaged an independent expert to review TMR’s assessment of potential implementation of its legislative powers including those mentioned above and their assessments of the road. Further assessments and analysis are ongoing. TMR expect a report from this process by the end of October.
SPEED ON KIN KIN RD – request for further speed reductions on Kin Kin Rd to 60 kph were discussed and TMR asked Noosa Council to raise officially at next Speed & Traffic Management Meeting for further discussion between TMR, council staff and police.
WILDLIFE – Our request for a trial of green posts (virtual fencing) along Kin Kin Rd due to animals being hit, was rejected due to inconclusive results from a recent trial on the Sunshine Coast, which is now seeking funding for a second trial. Of note, these virtual fencing options only work at night as are headlight activated, and there is no evidence that even when activated and providing a warning, that it prevents the wildlife from crossing in front of cars. Our investigations have revealed that there is nothing else nationally or globally being trialed or effective, and the clear message relayed to us to reduce wildlife fatalities and injuries is to SLOW DOWN, particularly around dawn and dusk. We will be following the second trial and resulting information closely.
DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENT – our most recent request regarding a review of the review process has been responded to in the negative at this time. We have also been advised that the Minister does not have the power to amend or cancel an Environmental Authority. This apparently resulted from the Fitzgerald Inquiry in QLD and is why some state ministers have greater powers in comparison to those in QLD.
- We have been advised that an independent environmental authority is in the process of being formed and that this would be the appropriate forum in which to seek long term changes to EA processes, although the advice is that this could take years.
AUSTROADS STANDARDS – Having reviewed the existing road widths of Kin Kin Rd in relation to Austroads standards, TMR advise that there are sections that meet current standards, however there are also some locations that do not meet current standards. TMR advise that this is not uncommon, as roads are designed and built in accordance with standards at the time.
ROAD MAINTENANCE – TMR increased its maintenance activity in late 2020 on Kin Kin Rd and is preparing for a program of work to strengthen sections of road edges and shoulders, including resealing, where significant edge damage is occurring. During the meeting TMR mentioned looking into the best tarmac options to help ensure that the damage does not continue to occur after these works.
SIX MILE CREEK BRIDGE #7 – Recent routine maintenance will help ensure the bridge remains in a safe and trafficable conditions while design work for the replacement project is finalised.
TRAGIC ROAD INCIDENTS – a reminder to all, that families of those involved in crashes and incidents are further impacted when they see/hear running commentary on social media. So please be mindful of this and aware that in certain situations, detailed information can’t be released in public.
DASH CAMS – 10 dashcams were purchased by our office for those who are in need but couldn’t afford. 8 of these have been distributed although we are yet to receive any footage from these.
POLICE – a reminder that police continue patrolling Kin Kin Rd on weekdays using their mobile speed camera instead of setting up a fixed location as has occurred on Sundays.
As explained to the members of the roundtable, with the scheduled bridge replacement, shoulder strengthening works and identified sections of Kin Kin Rd to receive upgrades, patience during these works will be required by all using the road. However, to leave these in their current condition is not in the best interests of road safety for all users.
We have also attached the official Noosa Council minutes of the meeting for your information.Kin Kin Quarry - Minutes 24 August 2021