Campaign ramping up over highway plan

Published 4:00pm 12 December 2023

Campaign ramping up over highway plan
Words by Nick Crockford

A community meeting will be held tomorrow in the latest stage of a growing campaign to fight Stage 4 of the Bruce Highway Western Alternative (BHWA) through Elimbah.

The meeting, at Elimbah Soldiers Memorial Hall (6pm), comes two weeks after residents were shocked by the release of route options for Stage 4 of the BHWA.

Many believed it would be built west of Elimbah, but the Transport and Main Roads (TMR) release gave two options, both close to the railway line.

Emotional comments on social media describe the situation as a “horrendous adventure” and one resident felt “sick to the stomach” over what may be revealed at information sessions.

On TMR’s feedback page, there are calls for the route to follow “electrical infrastructure and state forest” or “focus on existing roads - improve D’Aguilar Highway and Bruce Hwy”.

TMR says public consultation will close on January 22, but campaigners are calling for an extension to February due to the holiday shutdown.

Campaign ramping up over highway plan
The proposed route of BHWA Stage 4

Moreton Bay City Council representatives backed the community’s concerns in a meeting with TMR last week and also called for change.

Campaigners are looking at legal options and have launched an online petition which already has close to 1700 signatures. A paper version is also being collated.

State Member for Glass House Andrew Powell backs residents, who are using the current community consultation sessions with TMR to air their grievances.

"We must change the proposed route!" he said on Facebook. "My recommendation is for it to go west and north of the existing urban footprint and the proposed future growth area. 

"That puts it west of Boden Road, Wamuran wrapping around to the north of McDougall Road, Elimbah."

Politicians, campaign organisers and residents will be at tomorrow’s meeting – full details on the Objection to current North Brisbane Bruce Highway Alternative – Stage 4 route option Facebook page.

Cr Latter was part of Moreton Bay City Council’s delegation which met TMR officials last Wednesday.

“I feel it was a productive meeting but will wait to see what comes from it especially initially with the consultation process,” Cr Latter said on Facebook.

“Council will be putting in a formal submission to TMR in the New Year with our feedback as well.”

Cr Latter said he was joined by CEO Scott Waters and Council officers in a meeting with TMR’s Acting Regional Director (North Coast), Manager of Strategic Planning and Manager Project and Stakeholder Engagement. They said:

  • (Public) consultation needs to be extended into February
  • Another community consultation session is needed in Elimbah.
  • Stage 4 also needs to be outside the current urban footprint and west of the National Park (Mount Elimbah)
  • Minimising impact to residents and landowners needs to be at the centre of every decision.
The poster which campaigners are putting up to support their campaign.

One of the campaign co-ordinators Janine Aitken said: “The discussions we were having about six weeks ago …. this was not coming near our doorsteps. It was going well west.”

Moreton Daily contacted TMR for comment last Tuesday (December 5) but has not had a response to questions about previous discussions with residents and different Stage 4 routes.

Future Stage Four information sessions will be in Wamuran (January 16) outlining corridor options and giving those present a chance to meet the project team.

Registration is required. Some sessions are already booked out. Click here for more information.

Feedback can be given on the Transport and Main Roads’ online consultation page, by phone on 1800 955 799 and by email to [email protected].

It can also be submitted in writing and posted to: Bruce Highway Western Alternative, Department of Transport and Main Roads, PO Box 1600, Maroochydore, QLD 4558.

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