Transport Minister Bart Mellish says he had a “positive meeting” with protesters fighting the proposed route of the Bruce Highway Western Alternative (BHWA) Stage 4.
Minister Mellish, who was appointed just before Christmas, met a small group last week and says he wants to “continue these discussions going forward”.
The campaign was launched at Elimbah after Transport and Main Roads (TMR) released two route options for Stage 4 – both going through the town.
Around 120 homeowners were told their land may be needed for the new highway, which locals believed would be built further west.
“Halt Stage 4”, began mid-December with packed public meetings, a petition (now closing in on 6000 signatures) and urging supporters to voice concerns through the public consultation process.
Minister Mellish said: “(I am) getting more detailed briefings from the department, but am really keen to hear what people have to say about this. It is open for consultation still.
“This is about future planning for what we need to get people around the area.
“Previously transport departments have been criticised for throwing projects on people at the last minute.
“This is about looking into the future and doing the planning early so people are not getting surprised in 10-15 years.
“It was a positive meeting and I look forward to having more positive discussions with locals.
“Of course, people are very interested in this project and want to have their say.
“That’s why we have it out for consultation and as a minister I genuinely want to hear people’s views about this as we go forward.”
TMR as additional information sessions this week for residents to meet staff and discuss the proposed routes.
Four sessions are being held today (Tuesday) at Wamuran Sports Complex Hall, 84 Campbells Pocket Rd.
Registration is required. For details click here. The 3.45pm and 6pm sessions are full but there were spaces at 4.30pm and 5.30pm, at the time of writing.
However, all four sessions at Elimbah Soldiers Memorial Hall on Saturday are booked out.
Late last week TMR said on its Facebook page more than 500 people had made submissions since the formal public consultation opened on November 30.
Consultation is open until 5pm on February 9, 2024. See the Stage 4 corridor options and have your say here www.yoursay-projects.tmr.qld.gov.au/bhwa
Feedback can also 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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