Residents' concern over new highway plan

Published 4:00pm 26 August 2022

Residents' concern over new highway plan
Words by Nick Crockford

Residents opposing plans for a new highway, which will affect their rural property and wildlife, say they discovered the road plans by “accident” on social media.

Andrew and Angeles Palacios, who live by Sheep Station Creek Conservation Park in Upper Caboolture, said they knew nothing of the Bruce Highway Western Alternative (BHWA) until they saw a Facebook post.

Mr Palacios felt it a “disgrace no-one had the courtesy of coming to knock on the door” to tell them of the proposal which, he said, will affect the area, lives and local wildlife.

Public consultation is underway for stage two (Moorina-Narangba) and about 500 people attended community drop-ins at Upper Caboolture, Burpengary and Narangba. Submissions close on September 2.

A Transport and Main Roads (TMR) spokesperson said: “We will contact impacted property owners directly and as a priority, once a preferred corridor has been identified and we will work closely with them throughout the project.”

Residents' concern over new highway plan
The TMR map showing proposed routes for stage two of the Bruce Highway Western Alternative

The proposed BHWA would take traffic off the Bruce Highway at Beerburrum and down through Moodlu, the new Caboolture West, Moorina and Narangba to Kallangur.

Stage one corridor (Moodlu-Moorina) has now been ‘protected’. Illustrations show different corridor options for the northern and southern parts of stage two.

Mr and Mrs Palacios say both corridors would impact their rural lifestyle and property, where they have lived for 10 years and those of neighbours.

“We have a little backroad, a dead-end street, which will become a four-lane highway,” Mr Palacios said. “There are people who will be directly affected by this with the road going through their property.

“Some indirectly affected by its impact on their rural lifestyle and people further afield who care about the wildlife impacted by the traffic.”

Residents' concern over new highway plan
A TMR map showing the proposed route of the entire 57km Bruce Highway Western Alternative

Mrs Palacios said the “small acreage blocks”, where they live, “are the last refuge for wildlife displaced by clearing and development".

“Our houses provide habitat and corridors between conservation areas for animals like koalas, kangaroos, sugar gliders, bandicoots and echidnas,” she said.

“Once gazetted all our properties and our lives will be in limbo potentially for decades.”

The TMR spokesperson said the “significant value of community imput" was recognised and there had been 10,000 unique visitors to the ‘Have Your Say’ web page.

“We are continuing to raise awareness about opportunities to be involved in the consultation process resulting in thousands of individual pieces of feedback provided since consultation started on July 29, 2022.

Residents' concern over new highway plan

“This has included distributing more than 7200 project newsletters to properties across the project area, traditional media, social media posts, email notifications, online information and meetings with key stakeholders.

“A consultation report will be prepared when the consultation period has closed to provide a more detailed overview of the feedback,” a Transport and Main Roads spokesperson said. “This will be published on the consultation webpage.

“This is a long-term planning project and although we have started early planning, timeframes for more detailed planning, design, and construction are not yet known.

“They will depend on government priorities and future funding commitments.”

Feedback on the BHWA can be provided to the project team via hotline 1800 955 799, email, post or online at www.yoursay-projects.tmr.qld.gov.au/bhwa.

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