George says dirt road fate sealed
COUNCILLORS won’t seal the dirt road that runs to George Budge’s house.
But they have sealed his fate with a policy they adopted yesterday.
And like thousands of people who live alongside the 2000 kilometres of dirt roads that criss-cross the Rockhampton region, George is going to be forever dusty.
Unmade roads will now be considered for bitumen sealing only if they are used by 150 vehicles or more a day.
Rockhampton Regional Council’s Infrastructure Committee approved the standard yesterday so, according to Mayor Brad Carter, there could be some consistency across the region when residents asked that their roads be sealed.
“We are trying to bring all rural roads to a higher standard,” he said.
“It is imperative that we have a sound policy that allows us to be consistent and seal roads when they meet the priorities we have set.”
He said in the past sealing of rural roads was haphazard and decisions were often based on the whim of politicians rather than common sense.
But George, who lives on Woodvale Park Road in Woodbury, fears the new policy will make it impossible for the dirt-bowl of a road to be improved.
“When they did the vehicle count it was a little over a hundred a day. There are only about 20 properties on a dead-end road so it is unlikely we will ever achieve the magic number,” he said.
He said the road was badly corrugated but he had been told it would not be graded for about 18 months.
“I’m sure there’s going to be a serious accident before then. The surface is so loose we’ve seen a couple of vehicles slide off.
“And when traffic goes past, the dust can be so bad you just can’t breathe.”
He said the fact the council was spending more than $1 million on a new cage for chimps at Rockhampton Zoo showed the councillors cared more about monkeys than people in rural communities.
We are trying to bring all rural roads to a higher standard