Charcoalition Media Release October 17th 2001 – Charcoalition Challenges State Forests’ Heavy Vehicle Transport Figures

Ruined Roads – Charcoalition Challenges State Forests’ Heavy Vehicle Transport Figures

The Charcoalition announced today that investigations by its Transport Study Group have shown that figures on the State Governments’ glossy poster released by State Forests called ‘The Lithgow Silicon Smelter Project – Transport – South Coast’ are incorrect and misleading.

“The State Government produced this poster to inform the community of the ‘facts’ about the proposal to build a charcoal factory”, said Chris Kowal a spokesperson for Charcoalition. “How can the community decide whether they want this project or not if they cannot obtain correct information from the proponents or the Government?”

A Charcoalition researcher said “The Current Usage figures for all the locations on the Governments’ own poster are too high, and the Percentage change due to Charcoal plant figures are too low.” “Also”, the researcher added, “State Forest figures do not include trucks carrying sawdust from the proposed charcoal factory.”

“The NSW Roads & Traffic Authority (RTA) gave us current vehicle counts for Mogo and the proposed charcoal factory site. The RTA stated that figures on the State Forests poster were based on double axle counts, not vehicle counts. State forests then took 10% of the double axle counts, then published these figures as heavy vehicle movements per day. When questioned about this 10%, State Forests stated that it was an ‘assumption’.”

Mr Kowal said, “Our researcher then compared Charcoalition figures, which used the same raw data, against the figures published by State Forests.” “We established that the published figure for current daily heavy vehicles at Mogo of 655 should be only 389 – that is 266 less per day. For the proposed charcoal factory site, the figure of 495 current daily heavy vehicles should have been only 317 – that is 178 less per day.”

“The percentage change in heavy vehicle movements at Mogo due to the proposed charcoal factory should therefore be 9.8%, not 5.7% as State Forests claim, and the percentage change at the factory site should be 22.1%, not 14.1%.” He then added – “These figures exclude trucks carrying sawdust from the plant. If sawdust trucks are added in then the percentage change for Mogo would jump to 19.5%, or a total of 76 extra trucks a day, and for the factory site it would jump to 34.1%, or a total of 108 extra trucks a day.”

“With a ten hour working day, that’s one truck every 8.3 minutes passing Mogo and one truck every 5.5 minutes entering or leaving the proposed factory site.”

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