No plan to connect Gympie's two biggest growth areas
LETTER TO THE EDITOR
ON THE ROAD TO NOWHERE?
BARELY a day passes without stories of the Sunshine Coast struggling with infrastructure, from roads and rail to a possible class action by those who'll be affected by expansion of an airport they didn't buy into when they decided where to live.
This is what often happens when things are left to expand without proper long term planning, as Mayor Curran seems to have in mind for Gympie, with reported statements to a small crowd at a business breakfast this week.
As reported, Cr Curran sees us remaining attached to the Wide Bay Burnett Regional Organisation of Councils as a "substantial fish in a smaller pond" and identifying more with places south isn't necessary because of our "attachment to the Coast".
That's much the same logic the Coast seemed to apply earlier in its growth, it being attached to Brisbane, and now facing the increased costs and inconvenience that result from poor planning earlier.
But that was Thursday's reading. By Friday we had a report of council working with the State to develop an industrial hub at Kybong, a gateway between the fast growing south-east corner and the north of the state.
This isn't before time but shows, again, how half baked and confused Gympie's planning is.
While further industrial/commercial activity is planned for Glanmire, Monkland and East Deep Creek the major residential expansion is designed for across the river.
There's no publicly available plans to sensibly connect the two. In fact I've been told the exact opposite remains the plan with the much needed all-weather bridge still destined to replace Kidd Bridge.
Such a plan (let's call it a dated idea those in power are too lazy or too doughy to face the faults in) will only join congestion to congestion and will not help anybody living across the river get to the planned industry areas, or the new highway.
Even when the highway no longer goes through town the stupidity which is the junction at Normanby Bridge will remain the dangerous and traffic slowing idiocy it is, it in itself a strong indication of how Gympie's needs haven't been sensibly addressed in decades.
There's an alternative which would connect the proposed new residential and commercial areas, while offering those living across the river direct access to the new highway, a bridge from Waterworks Rd to Hall Rd.
Such could offer the opportunity to expand the amount of water in store for Gympie's water treatment plant on a not always reliable Mary River, by creation of another low level weir as part of a bridge build.
Such a weir could supply another recreation area and if managed well may even offer some protection from minor floods for the recreational infrastructure being built along the river nearer town.
I believe such silliness as raising Kidd Bridge is the product of our Main Roads needs being administered from Bundaberg and Gympie being the smallest population, by about half, of the 3 major councils in the WBBROC area.
With Gympie being closer and more attached to the south-east corner than it is to any major town in the WBBROC, and with those centres having their own needs to attend to, I believe Mayor Curran is simply wrong in his approach and wonder if his attitude isn't more because it's easier for him to be a big fish in a smaller pond than it is in the best interests of Gympie's population?
Or is he appeasing old vested interests over doing what's best for our collective futures? Those interests too seem dated in thought and unable to see that the CBD would be more attractive if those who simply wish to get past it weren't directed to clog it up, as the recent Gympie traffic study would still do.
As is the case with our state MP, always looking north, west and backwards, offering few ideas for the future, Mayor Curran's comments rarely show leadership. Civic leadership entails being a director every bit as much as simply being a reflector, of old ideas.