Wednesday, July 6, 2022



Comment: Cape needs Loop road

Off-road adventuring has been the backbone of the Cape York tourism industry for decades, yet has somehow survived with the bare minimum amount of support. It has been people power that has kept the 4WD market ticking over – often individuals who have cleared tracks or built makeshift bridges through remote parts of the Peninsula. However, there is a real fear among locals that we could lose the adventure tourism market.

Roads, pools, housing – Tatiara seeks feedback on budget

Chris Oldfield. Almost $4 million on road construction, $70,000 on swimming pools, $268,000 on buildings and $1.4 million on industrial estates these are a few of the projects listed in the Tatiara District Council’s 2022 23 draft budget and business plan... Other spending includes $675,000 on worker accommodation which is jointly funded with the Federal Government.

Council stands up to Irwin family

Cook Shire Council has refused to be intimidated by lawyers for the Irwin family and Australia Zoo, voting unanimously to keep the track known as Bertiehaugh Road open. The track, accessed via Stones Crossing, north of Weipa, has been a hot issue in the Cape for more than a decade.

ALRTA: 2022 Federal election – Labor wins. So what now?

Australians have changed the Government. Anthony Albanese is our 31st Prime Minister. The policy mandate is clear. More will be done on climate, anti corruption and cost of living. So, what does that mean for rural transport?

NSW Farmers recommend flood response changes

Food and fibre production has been significantly and catastrophically impacted by rain events from March 2021, not only the flooding of 2022, resulting in significant hardship for town residents and businesses, and particularly the farming community ... NSW Farmers CEO Pete Arkle said the three tiers of government needed to work together with farming and community leaders to look at how to rebuild more resilient businesses, communities and regions.

Councils vote to keep road open

Cook Shire Council briefed leaders on a move by Australia Zoo and Terri Irwin to seek the closure of the gazetted Bertiehaugh Road which traverses through part of the Steve Irwin Wildlife Reserve ... The council representatives had a busy agenda in Cooktown. Mayor Peter Scott said the TCICA gatherings were a highlight on the calendar.

Smart and Vickery: No response re national expert

Chris Oldfield. For more than a month, CEO Trevor Smart and Mayor Erika Vickery have not responded to questions relating to Australian Roads Research Board (ARRB) Chief Technology Leader, Asset Performance Tyrone Toole's expertise. Mr Toole has spent a lifetime building and researching roads around the world.

Road seals need accurate calculations

Chris Oldfield. When crunching numbers about whether to seal a road, the cost should be spread over 60 years "or as long as possible". Australian Road Research Board Chief Technology Leader, Asset Performance Tyrone Toole said it would be pointless to only spread the cost over 10 years.

Councils warned: ‘Don’t lose access’

Chris Oldfield. Regardless of the number of cars using a road, if there is access “don’t lose it”, a leading Australian road expert, Tyrone Toole has warned councils. Even if a local government body thinks there is no other way than to delete a road, Mr Toole suggests the council “takes another look at it”. His comments followed questions by The News regarding the Shuard’s La debacle – a 600m stretch across a wet low-lying area enabling all-weather access to farms. Without community consultation, Naracoorte Lucindale Council deleted it and others from its road register.

Electorate win for MacKillop, Party loss

Sheryl Lowe. From sheep farmer to Parliament House, first term Member for MacKillop Nick McBride MP gained ground in the March State Election with a convincing win over his opponents, but the Liberal Party was defeated in a landslide swing towards the Labor Government. He was also defeated in his bid for Leader of the Opposition but told The News he will continue to advocate for his constituents in MacKillop during his second term in office.

Human resources and equipment important for good roads

Chris Oldfield. Council amalgamations, redundancies and retirements have resulted in the loss of experienced staff when it comes to managing road networks. And often council managers are trained in different fields, not civil engineering. “They are busy doing everything else they have to do,” national road chief Tyrone Toole said. So, road networks deteriorate and costs increase.

Proposed bridge closure causes panic

Helen Dalton held a community meeting at the Tooleybuc Sporting Club on Thursday, April 14 to address concerns with residents that the Tooleybuc Bridge would be hard closed for six weeks to complete repair works. With the bridge being a lifeline for the border community and the major transport route for trucks travelling to and from Adelaide to Sydney, locals feared that the closure would be the final nail in the coffin for local businesses.

Councils urged to seek expert help

Chris Oldfield. When it comes to roads, 'a stitch in time saves nine’ and it is a lot cheaper for councils to look after them, says one of Australia’s leading road research experts, Tyrone Toole. Only in very poor countries has Mr Toole seen bitumen roads ripped up and replaced with gravel ones ... for councils to do such things in Australia, Mr Toole said it would be a sign of “desperation” and “a backwards measure”.

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