DESTRUCTION: Clarkes Road on March 5, 2013.
DESTRUCTION: Clarkes Road on March 5, 2013. Contributed

Patience thin after road washes out three years in a row

FORMER Miriam Vale shire councillor Gary Dingle's patience has run out - his frustration stems from the state of Clarkes Road.

The 52-year-old lives near Lowmead, between Granite Creek and Harpers Creek.

Mr Dingle said Clarkes Rd was the lifeline for the 50 or so people who live in that area during wet weather. This year marks the third in a row that the road has washed away.

"They're both fairly low level crossings but normally we can get out of Clarkes Rd. We've been trapped in there for a week or two at a time," he said.

Mr Dingle blames drainage for the road's problems.

"We don't ask about bitumen, we just want bigger pipes," he said.

"It makes us angry because they (council) said they spend a lot of money on fixing it but if it was done right they wouldn't need to do it again. It's like we're just a forgotten area and they don't care."

Mr Dingle, who has been lobbying for years about the state of the region's roads said all that people expected was a little improvement each year.

He said that after the January floods there were two ft gauges in Clarkes Rd with some of the road collapsing on him the week before last.

"My great great great grandfather (William Pershouse) was the first elected mayor of Gladstone. The state of the roads wouldn't have improved since then," he said.

Gladstone Regional Council's rural services portfolio spokesperson Leo Neill-Ballantine said due to the recent severe weather the council's main priorities have been ensuring people have access and can get out of flooded areas.

Cr Neill-Ballantine said from a business point of view, with the rain continuing heavily up until this week and the presence of Cyclone Sandra, it was not feasible to start major projects with the possibility of roads being damaged further.

In response to concern over Clarke's Rd, he said: "I'm led to believe it has been opened up to council standard."

Cr Neill-Ballantine said the council would be ongoing with maintenance of the region's roads and that there were plans to upgrade various roads.

Cr Neill-Ballantine said the Lowmead area has been identified as an area that needs further drainage and gravel re-sheeting work.

"There's a lot of people in the same boat. It's not like anyone at council has forgotten about Clarkes Rd," he said.

The council is still working on a figure as to what the damage is to the region's roads following the recent deluge.



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