Artists impression of the upgraded intersection of Station Rd and Cogan St.
Artists impression of the upgraded intersection of Station Rd and Cogan St. Gympie Regional Council

Ratepayers kept in the dark about traffic planning


THE new roundabout on Station Rd's been contentious this week.

There's plenty of opinions.

CLICK HERE: I've seen some monstrosities but this roundabout takes the cake

READ MORE: Councillor says Station Rd roundabout is justified

I'm with those who see the negatives outweighing any benefit and view it as another on a growing list of council decision failures, but that's not what I write about here.

In online comments somebody wrote of another intersection, while noting it would depend on how highway Section D changes things; a question which apparently has no answers, not even a clue, which the public can view, comment on or make decisions on the back of.

Aerial view of Cogan St roundabout.
Aerial view of Cogan St roundabout. Tom Daunt

Hopefully an up-to-date, detailed, Bypass plan will appear alongside the well overdue Gympie traffic plan and we'll then be privy to information which surely should be available all through the planning process, the people of the area all being stakeholders.

I was told that our council is working with Main Roads on the traffic plan, in which case there should be two portals through which information could be released on plans for our collective future. But none comes.

Gympie Council CEO Bernard Smith and Mayor Mick Curran.
Bernard Smith and Mick Curran. Renee Albrecht

Any Gympie traffic plan would now surely be a challenge for the best of planners.

Decades of masterful inactivity in planning has created a mish mash of infrastructure, much of which holds sentimental or on-paper value far in excess of its practical worth.

Old mining track routes no longer hack it as our transit corridors and the town is becoming quite divided in a variety of uses but there's very poor connections and often poor access in general.

To fix this in any meaningful way means there'll have to be winners and losers.

If the Bypass is built and isn't well connected to the town, and across the river, we're all losers.

Detailed planing costing $50 million has been done for the Bypass and I've heard the traffic plan is 70% complete but that seems where public information on either ends.

That isn't open, consultative, or accountable governance at any level.

If the new roundabout is part, or an indication, of the new traffic plan we should be very worried. If it isn't we should ask why it was built at all.

But a bigger question, seeing as we're going to be growing and more connected to the southeast, is why don't we ever see what's planned for us, before it's being done to us?

As I type, kept in the dark, we can only hope our councillors are effectively lobbying for our best interests in planning although their record and usual lack of public comment or consultation suggests they probably aren't.

Like our MPs I suspect their contributions will be little more than photo opportunities and that they simply have nothing to show us.

I'd gladly be proven wrong on that, shown something, not just waffled at.

Dave Freeman,

Cedar Pocket