‘Highway to a living hell’

Residents face off with TMR over proposal

By Liam Hauser

RESIDENTS in Elimbah and surrounding towns say they are ‘devastated’ and ‘sickened’ by a state government proposal for a duplicate Bruce Highway that will result in resumptions if it goes ahead.
Dozens of homeowners attended a Q&A session on Saturday at the Wamuran Sports Complex where Transport and Main Roads representatives attempted to answer questions in 45-minute small group sessions.
Emotions ran high during the day, with residents facing a Christmas unsure if the lives they have established will be upended by the proposed highway.

“We need to do everything to try to stop this,” Markwell Rd resident, Kirsty, said.
“The whole situation feels dirty.”
Former Moreton Bay councillor, Adrian Raedel, suggested the state-owned pine forest area should be used, rather than the options which were presented.
Another resident, Kevin, said the situation was “devastating for people” while he also queried why the alternative highway wouldn’t be built further over.
Residents are arguing the highway should be positioned further west, away from residential areas.
Organiser of the ‘Objection to current Bruce Highway alternative – Stage 4 route option’, Jason Smith, asked why it wasn’t feasible to go further west.
While expressing support for an alternate highway, which he coined ‘Go West – follow the urban footprint’, Jason said it needed to be done in a realistic way.
Using a map, Jason indicated a route that would take in predominantly state-owned land.
Jason expressed concern that constructing a second highway so close to the existing Bruce Highway would duplicate the current problems. Another person commented that this would be disastrous in the event of a bushfire; being so close together.
Jason also raised the issue of Stage 4 ending at Steve Irwin Way, which has been inundated with traffic.
TMR claimed to be there to listen to people’s views and concerns, as well as collate and present to the planners involved.
There was a feeling of devastation among the attendees that the highway proposal was happening in the Elimbah and Moodlu area, particularly with residents in the direct path of construction being at risk of losing their homes.
Other major issues which people voiced were the disruption to the idyllic lifestyle in the area, as well as the risk of housing prices going down. TMR said the housing prices would be set at the time of gazetting the land that would be resumed, and also said that nothing would happen for five years. The question was raised that ‘if the prices were set at that stage, would that be what the landholders would get?’ The answer given was “yes”.
Another point raised was that housing prices fell last Friday when letters were delivered to potential houses that could be resumed for the project.
With the second option revealing considerable agricultural land would be utilised, TMR claimed that the two options were chosen to have a lesser impact on agricultural land.
A community meeting to form an action group will be held at the Elimbah Soldiers Hall on Wednesday December 13 at 5.30pm.
Further TMR sessions will be on January 16 at Wamuran Sports Complex, deadline for feedback to the proposal ends on January 22.
TMR told GC&M News that it could not say how many properties would be resumed at this stage.