Residents lobby for flooded roads
AGNES Water and 1770 residents are asking for too much, according to come Gladstone regional councillors.
The Discovery Coast Tourism and Commerce Inc has written to the council, asking it lobby State and Federal governments on main roads flooding issues affecting the community.
Round Hill Road from Fingerboard to Agnes Water is a council-owned road, while part of the Tablelands Road was a state-owned road.
Council's infrastructure services director, Ross Paroz, said councils did not really have any other role than to be an advocate on behalf of their community.
“The most we would look at providing is a letter of advocacy supporting that,” he said.
Cr Clyde Cameron hit out at the request during Tuesday's council meeting.
“The good people of 1770 are often keen to jump the queue,” he said.
“I don't blame them for that. It's the good old Aussie thing, ‘have a go'. But even in our advocacy, we need to recognise they need to take a number, and if we don't imply that recognition within our advocacy, then we can make fools of ourselves and we could put ourselves offside with people in other communities within our region.”
Cr Cameron suggested the advocacy letter be written very carefully.
Cr Rick Hansen said he was in favour of advocacy because the Discovery Coast communities did get cut off quickly and there were other communities facing the same situation in the Boyne Valley, for instance.
“It's not just Agnes Water. It's Baffle Creek as well,” he said. “They are isolated completely.”
Cr Col Chapman raised concerns about there only being one pot of money and, by advocating for these roads, there would be less to build the new proposed road from Turkey Beach to Agnes Water.
“We have to be careful who we advocate for here,” he said.
The Essendean Bridge outside Rosedale, which was raised as an issue by councillors during discussion, is a notorious flood location.
“The State Government in the past few years has spent millions of dollars on lifting every other bridge between Bundaberg and Rosedale except Essendean and I think ‘let's just finish the job',” Cr Hansen said.
Mr Paroz said part of the issue with the Essendean Bridge was that there were two Main Roads districts involved.
Cr Lyn Paton questioned what had changed, in terms of road infrastructure, since people moved there.
Mr Paroz said the Round Hill Road had been improved significantly, going from an unsealed poor formation road to a fully-sealed arterial road.
“These are strategic issues,” he said. “We recognise there is a problem.”
Mr Paroz said council would have to work with the Main Roads Department to get a feel of expenditure available for the area, but previous work had already indicated there was not a lot of money going to be spent in Gladstone in the next five years.