Redirecting funds for flood-prone road still on cards

BLACKMAN'S Gap Rd in the flood-prone Boyne Valley will be upgraded if a proposal to redirect State Government funds from the Gladstone Monto Rd-Awoonga Dam Bypass Rd project is successful.

Road access during floods is a hot topic for Boyne Valley residents, who regularly face being flooded in when Awoonga Dam overflows.

Gladstone Regional Council Mayor Gail Sellers said upgrading four sites on Blackman's Gap Rd offered a more viable option than continuing with the Awoonga Dam bypass project.

The upgrade would offer a good emergency route in times of heavy flooding, according to Boyne Valley dairy farmer Dave Paish.

"From our perspective when the last flood was on, Blackman's Gap was open before Nellie Simpson Rd anyway," he said.

Nellie Simpson Rd forms part of the Gladstone-Monto Rd.

But other residents say shifting the funds will not solve the dam overflow issue.

"The ridiculous thing is (the water board) built a dam like that," said Boyne Valley resident Dennis Martin.

"When it floods it cuts off a whole community."

Nagoorin resident and councillor of 40 years' experience, Ivan Stiller, said he feared the funds would not be approved because locals saw the Awoonga Dam bypass as a more urgent priority.

The State Government is yet to discuss the proposed diversion of funds in depth with Gladstone Regional Council, according to a Department of State Development, Infrastructure and Planning spokesman.

Timeline:

  • August 2013: State Government pledges $1.3 million for bypass
  • September to December 2013: Council investigates bypass further, finds it would cost $2 million
  • May 2014: Council requests $1.3 million be reallocated to upgrade Blackmans' Gap Rd


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