By Jeremy Sollars
The Southern Downs Regional Council says a list of gravel roads to be re-sheeted across the region in the first half of 2018 will be announced in the “near future” once its funding share is confirmed following Cyclone Debbie earlier this year.
The Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements (NDRRA) is a joint federal and state funding program to fix road and other council assets damaged following high intensity rainfall and other weather events.
Gravel roads to be re-sheeted before Christmas this year include Warfields Road at Allora, Warner Street at Rosenthal Heights, Wickham Road at Thanes Creek, Bald Mountain Road at Wallangarra and Derreen and Sladevale roads in Warwick.
Not on the list, however, is Kingsleigh Road at Rosenthal Heights, which long-time resident Ian Harm has been asking for maintenance to be carried out to no avail, with the road last having seen the business end of a council grader more than 12 months ago.
Mr Harm told the Free Times he had made several requests to the council over the past six months or so, to be told the required machinery was in use “east of Warwick”, and later that funding was unavailable at this time and the council was waiting to hear about the NDRRA funding
He said the road was carrying increasing traffic volumes due to new residents in the Rosenthal Heights area.
“Under the old Rosenthal Heights council, it was re-sheeted and graded a couple of times a year,” Mr Harm said.
“In those days the grader drivers knew how to form up a table drain but that’s gone by the board now.
“A few years back after the floods this road got right down to clay – we’ve been paying a fair bit in rates over the past 30 years, I really feel this road should be sealed at least part of the way, it’s unsafe the way it is.”
Council advice shows the only road in that area to be maintained in the 2016-2017 financial year was Glenvale Road, where both Mayor Tracy Dobie and Cr Rod Kelly have properties.
Re-sheeting in 2016-2017 was done on 30 gravel roads across the region.