A MASSIVE convoy of trucks, caravans and cars from a coalition of industries will converge on Goulburn later this month on their way to rally against the federal government’s carbon tax.
It’s so big that not even organisers of the Convoy of No Confidence can say how many vehicles will be involved. But one thing’s for sure – Goulburn will feel the impact on Sunday, August 21, and authorities are preparing now.
The council is expecting anywhere from 300 to 1000 vehicles. Convoy coordinator and National Road Freighters Association president Peter Whytcross said it could be thousands, such was industries’ anger over the carbon tax.
“This thing will be huge,” he said.
“We’ve spoken to the federal and state police and the RTA and they’re saying it could be bigger than they imagined.” Truck drivers, farmers, business people and many more are travelling from all over Australia. They’ll gather at Parliament House on Monday, August 22, to protest the tax.
“The carbon tax is a huge thing but it’s also the impact on registration that we’re concerned about,” Mr Whytcross said. “The government wants to bring in something that’s impossible to administer.”
He was referring to a registration system based on weight and kilometres travelled. Mr Whytcoss said people were flat out paying bills now, let alone coping with this impost. His colleague, Rick Finning was blunter.
“Our aim is to effect change and get the current government tipped out,” he said.
Some of the participants plan to spend the Sunday night in and around Goulburn. Truckstop 31 at Marulan and Goulburn’s recreation area are possibilities. Mr Whytcross was keen to get service clubs involved in providing barbecues.
Council general manager Chris Berry said Council would work with the Convoy’s organisers to try and ensure a smooth weekend on the roads.
“Council has met with NSW Police and representatives from the RTA to discuss the best ways we can help ensure this event runs smoothly and has a negligible impact on residents,” he said.
“Our tourism staff will liaise with the Convoy’s organisers, and we will be letting them know the most appropriate places for them to park for the night, along with the variety of services on offer in Goulburn Mulwaree.”
The council is advising organisers to use existing facilities, including caravan parks and a number of service stations south from Pheasants Nest.
Senior Constable Phillip Downes from the Goulburn Highway Patrol said the management of the event had been handed over to the NSW Police Major Events Unit. “If you are travelling on the Hume Highway over that weekend, police ask that you drive patiently and factor in this additional traffic into your travel planning.”