Former Mayor of Rockhampton, Lea Taylor, says we have one chance to get the site of a third bridge right.
Former Mayor of Rockhampton, Lea Taylor, says we have one chance to get the site of a third bridge right. Sharyn Oneill

One chance to get bridge right

IN the wake of the recent floods, one of the issues to come to the fore again is the urgent need for a third bridge across our Fitzroy River. And the powers to be are calling for your input as to the location and passage through or around our city.

I urge you to take part in ensuring this bridge is located in the best position to deliver the best outcome for our future. We will only get one go at this and we must get it right the first time and not settle for a that’s-good-enough-plonk-it-anywhere approach from the south of this country.

We are entitled to the right facility in the right place to handle the needs of our region both now and into the future. Because from this region we have contributed immensely to the country’s wealth, with gold from Mt Morgan, beef, wool from the west, coal, magnesite, and the list goes on. These have delivered major benefits to many major areas of both Queensland and Australia as a whole; it’s now our turn to get something back and get it right, for our needs across our region.

We have to ensure that Rockhampton doesn’t miss out on valuable income from the through traffic to the north amounting to hundreds of millions of dollars in accommodation, fuel, food, entertainment, mechanical and other services required by the travelling public. And yes while Townsville may be seven-and-a-half hours away, Mackay is only three, and people will continue on, mark my word, taking with them the security of our businesses and our jobs. We can not afford this to happen; we need to be building on our business sector and creating more jobs for our people and their futures. So it is vitally important that this passageway go through the city and not around it, keeping the travellers in our midst and not having them go out of their way to acquire their needs.

A bridge going through the back of the railway marshalling yards and across the river to Dean Street through to Norman Road and on to the Bruce Highway will do this and offer many other benefits. This bridge must be on pylons all the way across the flood plain and get rid of the earth mound monstrosity that exists today, so as not to interfere with the backing up and flow of water in time of flood and to maintain an adequate height across the plain.

Also work needs to be done on the Gavil and Gracemere Road creek crossings, to allow Gracemere and Mt Morgan residents uninterrupted access to the Bruce Highway to gain access to the city during times of flood.

This bridge location and access way will enable travellers to easily access the areas of the city providing their needs. Also the bridge must accommodate a railway line, in turn taking the rail line out of Denison Street and the centre of the city. It must also be constructed to handle road trains coming from the north, south and the west of the city destined for our two major meatworks on the northern side of the river without having to detach trailers at Gracemere and other places then leave cattle standing in the hot sun sweltering while waiting for the prime mover to return to take them on to the works, for periods of up to two hours. Also allowing for road trains to bring general freight direct to the city and unloading at depots to be dispersed throughout the city.

It should also be noted that the bypass bridge would connect with the Bruce Highway on the northern side of the Yeppoon Road turnoff, in which case many people would miss this turnoff and not venture to our coastal areas and spend their time and valuable dollars among these businesses and enjoy this beautiful part of Queensland. However, the passage through the city would allow the uninterrupted movement of transport and the travelling public through to the north of the state in times of flood with limited stoping at traffic lights, and cater for many much needed benefits which we the local community do not have today.

So take the time to understand what impact this vitally important development in our region is going to have on you and our future and stand up for what is right for us all and not just a few. It will make a major difference to the future development of our region.

We must get it right and we should settle for nothing less.

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