By Jess Baker
As of 27 January, the Condamine River Road gates at Killarney have reopened and Council’s proposed permit system has been scrapped.
Council officers noted in this week’s January ordinary meeting that there is no “legislative mechanism” that would allow Council to progress with the permit system proposed in a previous meeting.
However, according to legal advice received by Council in November 2020, removal of access gates from Condamine River Road is “acceptable” if a “suitable signage strategy” is employed as an alternative measure.
Officers suggested that ‘CLOSED’ signage – remotely activated by Council based on inspection of the crossings or advice from “nominated sources” living in the area – be implemented, and cameras be installed at entrance points to the crossings.
The cost of this signage has not been budgeted for in the 2020/21 budget and Council’s applications for Cambanoora Gorge management plan funding have so far been unsuccessful.
“We’re looking at funding via submission of a Building Better Regions Fund application,” said Council’s Director of Infrastructure Services.
Deputy Mayor Ross Bartley said remotely activated ‘CLOSED’ signs paired with ‘Advanced Flooding Warning Lights’ is the “best solution that’s been put forward in a long time”.
“It should alleviate the controversy and go some way towards solving what seems to be the most difficult problem we’ve dealt with in that area (Killarney),” said Cr Bartley.
Cr Windle was apprehensive about the changes and expressed concerns about the costs involved.
“Removal of the gates is going to incur costs, as well as costs of implementing the signage – whether that’s Council funding or state funding,” she said.
“I don’t know that we’re ever going to get (a solution)… or not one that we’re going to please everyone with, that’s for sure.”