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Focus On Roads To Include Safety, Width And Gravel Maintenance

Gympie Regional Council is turning its attention the region’s roads in an effort to improve safety and quality.

Currently, 60 kilometres of Council’s roads do not have the required standard road width, Gympie Regional Council’s Assets Manager Sam Murphy said.

“What we find when roads are not wide enough for the amount of traffic that use them is a decrease in safety but also an increase in cost when it comes to maintaining the road shoulder.

“This is because vehicles are regularly driving on the gravel shoulder and edge of bitumen when approached by another vehicle.

“We are working to rectify this,” Mr Murphy said.

The proposed 2020/2021 budget will look to have money allocated to road widening which includes successfully securing state funding. However, approximately $35 million is required to widen all the roads in the region to the correct standard.

Furthermore, 13 kilometres of the gravel roads in our region meet council traffic volume standards for sealing, however to seal these, $12 million is needed. As more residents use our road networks, the cost to maintain a sealed road becomes cheaper than maintaining a gravel road.

Gympie region Mayor Glen Hartwig also expressed Council’s motivation to improve the region’s roads.

“I don’t think it is any secret that Council has, in the past, underperformed when it comes to the maintenance of our rural road network,” Mayor Hartwig said.

“Take gravel roads for example. Based on the gravel roads practices review, Council’s expenditure on gravel replacement is around $700,000 less than it should be,” Mayor Hartwig said.

“These are the conversations we as a council are having and need to continue to have to make sure we get back to where we should be, not only financially but also from a road user and resident perspective,” Mayor Hartwig said. 

A message from Mayor Glen Hartwig - Wednesday, 13 August 2020 A message from Mayor Glen Hartwig - Wednesday, 13 August 2020

Queensland has been, to date, very fortunate not to see the resurgence of the COVID-19 numbers that New South Wales and Victoria have been experiencing. This doesn’t mean that we are in the clear, and unfortunately not everyone is or will do the right thing as we have seen over the past week or two. If anything, it’s a good reminder for us all to make sure we continue to social distance, wash our hands and stay home if we’re not well and keep our part of the world safe. 

No-one wants to go back into lockdown if numbers were to rise; it’s hard on families and the vulnerable in our community. I also feel for the local businesses, particularly in Victoria as they were already struggling with the first wave and now find themselves back in lockdown once again. It’s not surprising to hear that a percentage won’t ever reopen their doors again. For any business, let alone a small family run business, this is tragic. 

The effect of businesses closing has a huge impact on the community. Staff will be let go, finding themselves jobless with rising unemployment rates. Other companies or businesses who provided stock or material, leases, cleaners - there are so many who now lose more income, putting their business at risk. These local businesses are also often the first to sponsor or support the local community group or school raffle. 

Many will be left with debt after closing and may find it hard to put food on the table for the family. The ramifications are huge and not just a closed sign on the door. 

We may not have the lockdowns, but we do have many local businesses who are still finding their feet and there is one very simple way that you and I can help.

Buy local. 

Support our local businesses which in turn helps the entire community. If you can, head out for a coffee or lunch, research online for anything you need but buy the product locally. 

We have some of the best businesses within our region who will serve you with a smile and offer great service and knowledge. COVID-19 is not over. We need to remember to do our part; wash our hands, always social distance and, if we can, buy local. 

Mayor Glen Hartwig

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