Main Roads buys up two properties in path of Rocky bypass
WHILE 2016 was marked as the start date for the Rockhampton western bypass to come face-to-face with landholders, two properties have already succumbed to the multi-million dollar project.
Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources Barnaby Joyce said during the 2013 federal election a Coalition government would begin to "make purchases" for the Rockhampton transport corridor in 2016.
Fast forward two years and while Federal Member for Capricornia Michelle Landry is remaining tight-lipped on a start date, exactly how many properties are in the firing line is still unknown.
A spokesperson for the Department of Transport and Main Roads said planning for transport infrastructure was often carried out well ahead of construction but land was generally not acquired, by negotiation or resumption, until construction was imminent.
"We have bought two properties identified in the Fitzroy River Floodplain and Road Planning Study as future road corridor under the State Government's Early Acquisition (Hardship) Policy," the spokesperson said.
A spokesperson for Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development Warren Truss said the decision was left in the hands of the Department of Transport and Main Roads.
"The Australian Government has allocated up to $52 million towards the Rockhampton Bypass, Plan and Preserve project in the 2019-20 onwards Infrastructure Investment Program," the spokesperson said.
"The Queensland Department of Transport and Main Roads will be responsible for the management of any potential Rockhampton bypass project."
Ex-mayor Lea Taylor had his own solution to the western bypass which he said would keep traffic and business in the city.
Mr Taylor said a third bridge across the Fitzroy River closer to the meatworks would reduce the need for traffic to be bypassed from the CBD.
"(The plan) is not where we need a bridge to relieve congestion and bring services to the city," Mr Taylor said.
"The State Government owes this to the region to build strength back into the community."