Council’s major overhaul to grids, gates
A POLICY billed as a win for landholders, road users and the Gladstone Regional Council took a major step forward yesterday.
Ownership of stock grids is likely to transfer to the GRC from July 1 this year after the council agreed to proposed changes to local laws at yesterday's meeting.
In practice, this means the council will be responsible for public liability insurance, as well as looking after general maintenance over the life of the grid.
Landholders will be responsible for the cost of purchasing and installing replacement grids once maintenance efforts have been exhausted.
According to Gladstone Region mayor Matt Burnett, one of the major benefits for landholders centres on removing the cost of public liability insurance.
"(It's) a minute financial burden to council compared to a significant financial burden for every single property owner," he said speaking to The Observer yesterday.
Cr Burnett also said he had heard of situations where landholders were struggling to find adequate insurance polices.
"People were saying 'we can't find anyone to insure us'," he said.
The process to date has involved significant community consultation, much of which has been conducted by a rural working group involving councillors Peter Masters and Kahn Goodluck.
"I'm comfortable the people who have an opinion on this have had their voices heard," Cr Masters said.
"We felt we understood the general consensus and were able to get something very close to that."
Cr Masters said the grids policy change has been "a red hot topic" among constituents in recent months, and he had even been approached to talk about the subject while at an 18th birthday party.
As well as reducing the insurance burden for landholders, he said the major benefit was improving safety on regional roads.
"We're in charge of our own destiny, so if council sees something we think needs a bit of maintenance, or it may not be as safe as we want it to be, we can go in and fix it and make sure the road is safe for users."