Naracoopa Sand Mine Traffic Management Plan
Invitation for Public Comment – Proposed Amendment
Council has received an application to amend the Traffic Management Plan for the Naracoopa sand mine to accommodate unscheduled changes to shipping services during the COVID-19 emergency.
Prior to assessing the application, you are invited to submit your comments or views on the proposed amendments by close of business on 15 June 2020.
Comments can be posted to PO Box 147, Currie, Tas or emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Copies of the current Traffic Management Plan and the Proposed Traffic Management Plan are attached.
The amendments are to enable one-off carting of sand to Grassy Port at a weekend if required due to unexpected changes in the shipping service.
The applicant provided the following information with the amended Traffic Management Plan.
The Traffic Management Plan has the following noted on page 7 of the plan –
‘Operational Hours Trucks will operate on the road network between 7.00 am (0700 hrs) and 6.00 pm (1800 hrs) on weekdays.’
The ships that transport the material from Melbourne to China have been scaled back to 1 per month, there were 3 prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. Hence, prior to the reduction in ship number over the course of each month enough containers were able to reach China in each ‘month’, spread across the 3 ships. Now that there is only 1 ship departing from Melbourne, and it appears that this will be the case for some time to come, the full suite of containers that constitute the ‘monthly delivery’ to the customer in China must be at Melbourne for the sailing of that 1 vessel.
This situation poses issues because the containers being brought to and from King Island are ad hoc, owing to the situation with shipping of King Island (a matter outside the control of the mine). The 3 vessels per month sailing from Melbourne to China provided flexibility with regard to the containers arriving and departing (full) from Grassy Port – that flexibility has dissipated with the reduction from 3 to 1 ship departing Melbourne.
I attach below a revised (temporary) TMP to reflect the COVID-19 conditions impacting global freight and transport routes. The plan has a covering note in the document which explains why it has been amended and specifically the case for exceptional circumstances when carting on a weekend would apply. The amended plan would only be in force whilst the COVID-19 pandemic presents an issue to transport routes, vessel frequency and availability for export.
I suspect you would all be aware that the mine is utilising a considerable proportion of the freight capacity of the John Duigan at present, which if this were to stop or be affected by reduced container numbers from the mine it may have flow-on effects to the freight service more broadly.