Advice to scrap second link from Agnes Water to Baffle Creek
THE future of a new Agnes Water to Baffle Creek link will again be up for debate at a Gladstone Regional Council meeting this morning.
The advice remains the same as council received in December: to remove the project from current and future programs of work because of capital and ongoing maintenance costs.
Last year councillors voted against the advice and chose to engage with the community on route options.
Five potential new roads were presented, costing between $65 million and $103 million.
Community participation has been strong with more than 80 people attending sessions at Agnes Water and Baffle Creek, and 2464 views registered online.
Based on survey responses, 31 per cent of people selected no new road while 69 per cent supported one of the alternative links.
At the December meeting, Mayor Matt Burnett cited bushfire concerns as a primary reason for going against the advice.
"I don't think it's fair council accepts this resolution. The biggest fire in the state was Deepwater last year," he said last year.
"Furthermore at our meeting in Baffle Creek, the debrief after the bushfires, we committed to go back to the community with options."
Cr Burnett also noted that ratepayers alone would not be able to foot the bill and the project would need federal and state funding.
The absence of an alternative road has been raised by the community as a potential safety risk during emergencies.
In the case of a bushfire, background advice from council states that an alternative road "may or may not" provide a safe evacuation path.
"It should be noted that each option requires traversing through heavily vegetated land parcels which can be hazardous during bushfires," it says.
Other items to be discussed today include expressions of interest for the Philip Street Retirement and Aged Care Accommodation and a development application for a cinema at Yaralla Sports Club.
The application involves the existing cinema operator on the Dawson Highway moving to the Yaralla site.
The proposed theatre building will have two Gold Rooms and six standard cinemas.