Single vehicle crash sparks calls for a ‘fair share’
SEEING another crash on May Downs Rd added insult to injury for Clarke Creek Road Community Reference Group secretary Lynise Conaghan, who has been campaigning to get the road sealed for the past decade.
A black ute rolled about 5pm on Wednesday and the male driver, who was the only occupant of the vehicle, was taken to Dysart Hospital with a shoulder injury.
The incident is the third single vehicle crash since August when the reference group travelled to Queensland Parliament in Brisbane to discuss with politicians how badly the road upgrade was needed by the community.
Mrs Conaghan said the state of the road compromised more than just the safety of the drivers.
“I’m disappointed and angry,” she said.
“Given the amount of money generated in this shire - it’s a resource rich shire - yet the infrastructure is appalling.”
Despite Middlemount being the next closest town for Clarke Creek residents, they travell to Rockhampton and Mackay to access services and buy supplies because the road is too dangerous.
“It’s at least a five hour round trip for families and a lot of miners and contractors use that road because it’s the shortest route to their workplace,” Mrs Conaghan said.
“The road is a vital link and over the years it’s been deteriorating.”
The Clarke Creek Road Community Reference Group established a community plan in 2009 to highlight the town’s biggest issues and while a phone tower was built to address communication problems, the road remains unfixed.
“It’s affecting not just locals but others that have to access that road to work,” Mrs Conaghan said.
Delayed emergency service response times and heavy vehicle roll overs were both impacted by the road, according to the reference group’s plan, made with Isaac Regional Council.
“Funding seems to be based on population numbers. We are not going to win that race,” she said.
“Small communities are always going to lose and it shouldn’t come down to that it should come to fairer sharing.”
Each year, 552 heavy vehicles use the road, along with about 17,000 cattle and about 6000 tonnes of grain and 480 tonnes are transported on the road.
Mayor Anne Baker said hearing about another crash on the notorious stretch of road sharpened the council’s determination to gain the funding to fix the road.
“While it appears there were no critical injuries sustained with this recent incident, it should not take the loss of human life to kick start the funding flow,” Cr Baker said.
“It’s not a question of ‘fair share’ but a fair go for our Isaac.”
She said the region contributed about $6.35 billion to Queensland’s annual Gross Domestic Product.