By Jess Baker
A group of Bony Mountain residents have joined forces to object to the proposed closure of part of Tv Repeater Road.
Neighbours of Maydan Feedlot were recently made aware by the Department of Resources that an application had been submitted to have part of the road permanently closed.
Within weeks, more than 20 Bony Mountain residents and other Tv Repeater Road users had signed a petition requesting Southern Downs Regional Council (SDRC) oppose the proposed closure.
Bony Mountain resident Gary Johnson said his decision to sign the petition came down to the safety risks associated with the proposed closure.
“If the road is closed we’ll only have two other ways out of Bony Mountain and one road takes us to Pratten and the other to Allora,” he said.
“Our main concern is that the two roads we’ll be left with are pretty bad roads. They’ve not been looked after very well.
“(One) road we will be forced onto is a very narrow road with blind hills and corners, (it’s) very slippery when wet and is used by semi-trailers.”
Gary said closing the road would add hours and distance to Bony Mountain residents’ travelling to Warwick – a trip he says most residents do at least four times a week – and would add hundreds of dollars to yearly fuel expenditures.
“Not to mention an ambulance or fire truck that will have to travel the extra distance and time because a GPS will tell them to go straight ahead on Tv Repeater Road,” he said.
Greg Gibbons of Maydan Feedlot said an application was submitted by the owner of the feedlot to close the road mostly because doing so would make commuting between Maydan’s two lots of land – which are separated by Tv Repeater Road – safer and more convenient.
“We own land on both sides of the road and we work on both sides,” said Greg.
“We wouldn’t graze it but we’d just like it closed to allow our staff to cross it safely.
“We also had animal activists out there twice in the last seven months. Closing the road will limit their access to the property.”
Southern Downs councillors discussed the petition to oppose the proposed closure of part of Tv Repeater Road at last week’s ordinary meeting.
In a report tabled at the meeting, Council officers noted that SDRC had received feedback from a number of community members with concerns about the proposed closure, as well as the petition.
“A resident of the area has advised that during times of flooding there is no access for people west of Bony Mountain and east of Condamine River except for via Tv Repeater Road,” the report read.
“The resident further advised that the condition of Yankee Gully Road, as an alternative route, can be left unpassable after heavy rainfall.”
Councillor Cynthia McDonald fiercely opposed the closure and told her colleagues the removal of any emergency route is “unacceptable”.
Councillor Sheryl Windle agreed with Cr McDonald, saying there is no need to close the road as it is in good use.
“I think that enough people have indicated that they use it regularly and I think it’s needed in this community to remain open,” she said.
Councillors Ross Bartley and Cameron Gow referred to the potential financial implications to ratepayers that would come with closing the road.
“If this (road) is closed, Yankee Gully Road will need an upgrade,” said Cr Bartley.
“I think budget implications are not nil, potentially they are going to be significant.”
SDRC unanimously voted to advise the Department of Resources that SDRC objects to the closure of part of Tv Repeater Road due to community need, the road’s use as an alternative route during emergency situations, and the potential financial implications to SDRC.
The decision now sits with the Queensland Government.