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Rural road damage is dangerous

Three trucks ferrying out the last of the equipment for the State Government’s much-vaunted, but shelved, Zerogen project spent two days stuck on Kilmore Rd before locals towed them free.
Three trucks ferrying out the last of the equipment for the State Government’s much-vaunted, but shelved, Zerogen project spent two days stuck on Kilmore Rd before locals towed them free.

THE remnants of the Queensland Government’s failed Zerogen project near Emerald found themselves caught in a quagmire of sticky brown mud.

Trucks carrying out the last of the equipment in the Gindie/Orion farming precinct became hopelessly bogged on Kilmore Rd on Wednesday, blocking access for nearby landowners and forcing them into a dangerous detour through a table drain.

“I know the council is really cranky and so am I,” said frustrated farmer Shane Eden, who rounded up some tractors and manpower to tow the trucks free on Friday.

Central Highlands councillor Gail Nixon presented colleagues with an email containing these photographs detailing the road damage on Monday.

“We need a meeting because the damage being done to that road is unreal, unbelievable and they’ve never come within cooee of council,” she said.

“I think it is urgent.”

Mayor Peter Maguire agreed there was a need to chase it up.

Mr Eden said Queensland Gas Company employees were also responsible for damage to the rural road network in the area as they ramp up coal seam gas exploration on properties.

“It’s pretty heavy traffic now,” he said.

“QCG have got a drilling rig down past us with traffic coming and going all the time.”

Yesterday, Cr Maguire said he had contacted a Zerogen representative who had agreed to cover any costs incurred in the incident.

The Central Highlands council has tallied $14.79 million damage to 10 major non-urban arteries from the record summer flooding and rainfall, including Capella-Rubyvale, Wills, Wealwandangie and Cona Creek Rds.

December floodwater damage to Montrose Rd requires $3.52 million to bring it back to current engineering standards.

Repair work to Arcadia Valley Rd is estimated at $2.5m for a wider gravel resheet with improved drainage and concrete floodways.

An application for Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements restoration funding has been lodged.

The NDRRA restoration estimates are currently being finalised and for the CHRC local road network the damage amounts to $72 million.

Options for Buckland Road, including a new alignment, are being investigated by council.


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