SDRC shuts down truck route plans after backlash

A CONTROVERSIAL road upgrade that would benefit the Warwick trucking industry has been voted down by Southern Downs Regional Council, after significant community backlash.

In late 2018, the council signed an agreement for funding under the Australian Government Heavy Vehicle Safety and Productivity Program to upgrade East St as well as two intersections.

The development was meant to create a new route for B-double and heavy vehicles to reach the industrial estate, including constructing an unformed section of road.

But in the latest council meting, new detailed designs revealed to councillors the project’s scope proved too expensive and controversial for council to proceed.

The decision to halt plans was moved by Cr Andrew Gale who was reminded of opposed community consultation in 2017 and 2018/19.

“I remember it quite clearly. There was considerable angst in relation to this being a route for heavy vehicles,” he said.

“There was some concern about it increasing the traffic flow and B-doubles along Yangan Rd because it is not a B-double route.

“There were people in Yangan that were extremely concerned. There were people in Killarney wanting to know, people in Freestone Rd wanting to know.

“I don’t believe, from the mood of that meeting, those people that live in those areas want a truck route going through their semi-residential and residential areas.”

Plans for the significant East Warwick road upgrades presented to SDRC.
Plans for the significant East Warwick road upgrades presented to SDRC.

Cr Jo McNally questioned whether the local trucking industry members were acknowledged in the report, given Warwick is a “large logistical hub”.

Councillors also decided at the next quarterly budget review to reallocate the council’s share of the funding to other projects.

Department of Transport and Main Roads advised the council it had no objections to the project not proceeding.

Stanthorpe Border Post

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