Fencing plea to help cut road toll

Published 6:00am 13 June 2023

Fencing plea to help cut road toll
Words by Nick Crockford

An appeal will be made for temporary fencing along a section of Gympie Rd, Lawnton in a bid to save local wildlife.

Moreton Bay Regional Council (MBRC) is to ask the Queensland Department of Transport and Main Roads (TMR) to install fencing by the Four Mile Creek Corridor.

It would be to protect wildlife along the four-lane stretch of state road before council-funded construction work on permanent fencing begins next month.

The two-month project is scheduled to start on July 10 - after similar work along Samsonvale Rd in Joyner, but before measures at sites on Bunya Rd.

Fencing plea to help cut road toll

MBRC’s request for temporary fencing follows an outcry from koala rescuers following the death of ‘India’ on Gympie Rd on June 4.

In a social media post last week, Moreton Bay Koala Rescue insisted “someone must be held accountable”.

Mayor Peter Flannery said: “We know this section of Gympie Rd is a high-rate strike area which is why we’re helping the State Government with improvements in the interests of animal welfare.

“Council’s contractor is currently building wildlife fencing in Joyner as this is also a priority due to it being near a new development, connecting a green network, and a council road.

“All locations that went to tender in February 2023 as part of the tender package are priorities for Council to deliver, and the Joyner project was always listed as commencing first.

“We have been out to tender on a number of occasions and in the end most companies said they were too busy and the work was too specialised.

“Only one company bid for the tender in November 2022. This contract is worth over $2 million and was awarded in February.

“No one wanted this project delayed but, unfortunately, like all sectors of the economy right now Council and our contractors are not immune to labour or material shortages.”

Fencing plea to help cut road toll

The Mayor said suggestions MBRC had already been paid for the work in Lawnton was incorrect.

However, he did call on koala campaign groups to get behind MBRC’s critical funding need to turn plans for a wildlife hospital into reality.

“Because the painful truth is that even with fencing and underpasses on our roads, koalas and other wildlife will still come into conflict with vehicles on high traffic roads,” he said.

The fauna infrastructure projects at Lawnton, Joyner and Bunya include fencing, rope bridge crossings and underpass retrofits.

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