Power of the pen in highway battle

Published 4:00pm 6 February 2024

Power of the pen in highway battle
Words by Nick Crockford

Campaigners have reached a milestone in their battle to stop a four-lane highway going through Elimbah.

A petition objecting to the routes proposed for Stage 4 of the Bruce Highway Western Alternative (BHWA) has reached 10,000 signatures.

At the time of writing, it was just shy of 11,000 and will remain open until 11.59pm tomorrow (February 7).

The landmark has been reached in just over two months and days before Transport and Main Roads’ February 9 end to public consultation.

More than 500 residents have also attended public information sessions in Elimbah, Wamuran and Beerburrum and TMR has received more than 300 submissions.

The northern section of the proposed route for Stage 4 of the BHWA

Jason Smith, one of the campaign co-ordinators, said on the groups’ Facebook page: “The community and residents of Queensland have voted with their pens.

“It is time that government listens to our voice as well as the feedback provided by written submission and the parliamentary petition.”

The Halt Stage 4 campaign was launched in early December when TMR revealed two options for the northern-most section of its BHWA.

Both went through the middle of Elimbah, shocking residents who believed the route was to further west before linking with Stage 1 at Moodlu.

Proposed route of the southern section of the BHWA

State and Council politicians backed the campaign, protest meetings were held within days and banners posted throughout the area.

“It’s all about minimising impact,” Jason Smith said on the campaign’s Facebook page.

“The proposed routes do none of that. Bush becomes pine forest, becomes farms, becomes residential.

“The cycle can be planned out 30+ years into the future. We can also impact and plan a sustainable suburb that is not another Aura or North Lakes.”

After this round of consultation, TMR will consider feedback and release its “preferred corridor” for further public consultation.

Protest organisers Jason Smith, Trevor Lewis and Janine Aitken collecting signatures at the start of the campign.

New Transport Minister Bart Mellish was delighted by the “high levels of interest the community has shown in plans for the “Moreton Motorway”.

“Our region’s forecast growth will result in inevitable change and we are planning ahead to meet the travel needs and expectations of locals and visitors,” he said.

“Doing nothing is not an option and we are asking the community to help shape the future transport corridor for this vital new motorway.”

To give feedback on the proposed routes click here.


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