Tuesday, July 23, 2024

‘Why can’t it go west?’

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Gowrie residents are concerned about the proposed North-South road corridor that will “split Gowrie in two” to provide easy transport from Highfields and Westbrook to Charlton.

The atmosphere at last Thursday’s consultation meeting was tense.

Condamine MP Pat Weir chaired the meeting and said the number of emails he’s received has been the largest over a single issue during his time in office.

TMR Southern Director Bill Lansbury attended the meeting to explain the proposed transport corridor’s purpose and intended effect.

He explained that with Toowoomba’s urban population expected to grow by 76,000 people over the next 23 years, a road corridor was needed for the area anticipated to hold the most number of jobs – the Charlton/Wellcamp area.

It’s expected that there will be more jobs in Charlton and Wellcamp than in the Toowoomba CBD by 2046, according to the South-East Queensland and Toowoomba Regional Council’s growth plan.

Mayor of the Toowoomba Region, Geoff McDonald was also in attendance, along with a number of councillors.

He rose briefly to speak about the need for a corridor, while acknowledging, that in his view, TMR had handled the consultation poorly.

Concerns were raised by local wildlife carers over the impact of the road on local animals, many of which have been adversely impacted by the Toowoomba Bypass.

One resident asked TMR to “pause it, don’t protect it yet!” Another asked why the corridor goes to Goombungee and south through Kingsthorpe to Charlton.

Mr Lansbury responded to this by saying an estimated 40 per cent of potential road users wouldn’t use the road if it didn’t connect directly with Charlton.

Consultation on the project will occur until 8th September.

Several people asked if it was even certain that these jobs would go to Charlton and Wellcamp.

“All roads lead to Wellcamp,” one resident remarked.

Related stories: Questions still remain, Consultation extended, Plans for new western bypass, First look at planned bypass route

On Our Selection News 17 August 2023

This article appeared in On Our Selection News, 17 August 2023.

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