Stephen Schwarten on Quay Street.
Stephen Schwarten on Quay Street.

Councillor’s anger: Quay Street pavers are a ‘hoax’

ROCKHAMPTON Region Councillor Stephen Schwarten is "on a war path" to stop the council's trial to fix pavers on Quay St.

He said the trial was a "hoax" this close to a local government election.

"It's giving the appearance that the council's doing something about it when in fact what it's really doing is putting a noose around the neck of the next council," Cr Schwarten said.

He tabled a notice of motion at Tuesday's council meeting to revoke the approval to fix pavers at six locations on Quay St, which was approved on October 1.

"I object to the fact decisions are being made of this potential magnitude so close to an election," he said.

"The proper course of action is to get experts to say what must be done about the failure."

He requested the council employ an independent civil engineer to find a long-term resolution and the total cost of the project.

Screw sticking out of repairs on Quay Street.
Screw sticking out of repairs on Quay Street.

"Council has no option but to get certified qualified civil engineers from an outside independent firm to review the report," he said.

"The public interest needs to come first and the public needs to know the cost of what's being proposed here."

Special meeting minutes from September 29, 2015, estimate the depreciation of the road to be $241,367 in 50 years, but Cr Schwarten said almost $400,000 a year was spent on the road.

If the trial is successful, the council will spend $464,000 to fix all pavers along Quay St .

Cr Schwarten said going ahead with the trial without consulting a civil engineer was foolish and a further waste of money.

"Let's spend no more money mucking around with tile repairs - let's get people in who know about these things," he said.

Screw sticking out of repairs on Quay Street.
Screw sticking out of repairs on Quay Street.

"The pavers aren't cracking, it's crumbling into dust."

Rockhampton Region Mayor Margaret Strelow said Cr Schwarten's claims were incorrect and civil engineers had looked at the problem.

"Councillor Schwarten has missed a number of meetings and workshops this term," Cr Strelow said.

"There have been briefings to councillors about the procession of consultants, engineers, designers looking at the problem.

"We have had independent Registered Professional Engineer Queensland Civil engineers from two different external companies as well as a senior consulting engineer working directly on council's behalf.

"There have been no conclusive findings from any of them."

While Cr Schwarten voted against the pavers project in 2015 because he predicted the materials would be insufficient, he said just wanted to see the problem fixed properly.

"Too much money has already been spent," he said.

He said the council also needed a back-up plan if the trial was unsuccessful.

"The report is open ended and it's very vague - that report is unreliable, " he said.

Cr Strelow said the council needed to act now to prevent further damage to the pavers.

"We are undertaking a trial of six sites - relaying the pavers in a different configuration," she said.

The council will attempt to recoup legal costs through the firm deemed responsible for the paver failure.



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