A group of truck owner-drivers in the Gawler area have had to put their lives on hold for over 10 months while the council decides how to deal with their developments.
The issue was first raised with the Town of Gawler on January 15 this year by Tony Piccolo, the member for Light after he received complaints from truck owners who had received compliance notices from the council for parking trucks on their own property.
Owner-driver Andrew Cavallaro and his wife Michelle, of Hillier, are concerned about their future financial security.
Mr and Mrs Cavallaro said the uncertainty about the future of their livelihood had been very stressful for the family.
“I know the council has a job to do, but the constant delays have been very difficult to deal with,” Mrs Cavallaro said.
“It is difficult enough to run the business as an owner-driver, so we don’t need the additional uncertainty as to whether we will be forced off our property.”
The plight of about 12 local truck owners and their families has been heard by Mr Piccolo who has lobbied the Gawler Council to have the matter resolved as quickly as possible.
Mr Piccolo said the council’s response to date has been quite unsatisfactory with a litany of excuses to explain their lack of action on this important issue.
“We are not talking about trucking moguls here, but small operators who own and drive their trucks as a means of earning an income for their families,” Mr Piccolo said.
When he first raised the matter, Mr Piccolo advised the Gawler Council that the Light Regional Council had just finalised a similar process and that it might be beneficial to consult with them.
“I was politely told the Gawler Council matter was different and they would use their own process to resolve it,” Mr Piccolo said.
“Here we are, 10 months later and the matter is still not resolved, despite the Gawler Council facing fewer development restrictions than those faced by the Light Council.”
“The most galling thing for the truck owners and their families is that I was recently advised that the Gawler Council had recently reviewed what Light Council had done and a report was likely to go to council later this month.”
“The delay in dealing with this matter has caused truck owners and their families a great deal of distress, as they don’t know whether they will be forced to sell their trucks and lose their income.”
Mr Piccolo said while he agrees it is appropriate for council to prepare a policy response, it could have been dealt with in a much more timely fashion.
“Given the communications I have had with council, I do not have confidence that the process will resolve this matter in either a timely or fair manner. I really do question Council’s priorities.
“It is just not good enough.”
Mr Piccolo said he will shortly be contacting owner-drivers to see if they wish to exercise their rights under the Development Act.