By Dominique Tassell
Southern Downs Regional Council (SDRC) discussed a letter from Minister for Transport and Main Roads, Mark Bailey, regarding the Queensland Walking Strategy at the recent Ordinary Council Meeting.
“Whether on foot, moving with the help of a mobility device like a wheelchair, or pushing a child in a pram, walking is an important part of life for everyone,” Mr Bailey wrote in this letter.
He stated the strategy is currently focussed on walking precincts of up to two kilometres around primary destinations such as public transport, schools and town centres.
Councillor Andrew Gale spoke up in support of the program during the meeting, stating that he had brought up the need for “connectivity of network of footpaths” years ago to the road safety committee.
He stated that some of the pathways currently don’t lead anywhere and this needs to be improved.
Councillor Cynthia McDonald said she supported the program too, as Southern Downs used to be the most overweight region and this would combat that.
She also stated that Covid-19 showed the importance of getting out and being active.
Councillor Stephen Tancred brought up the previous scheme, stating it got held up by main roads and he hopes designs will be sorted before building this time.
Councillor Sheryl Windle said she would like the see the scheme extended to villages.
“We have to include villages,” she said.
At the recent town planning meeting in Killarney, locals did raise that they would like to see more bush tracks and walking paths in the area.
SDRC CEO, Dave Burges, stated this might not apply to smaller towns as guidelines say it needs to be near certain infrastructure.
Councillor Windle stated that the villages in the region have schools and town centres too.
Councillor Cameron Gow stated he would like this brought to an information session so Council can discuss what to prioritise.
Councillor Jo McNally said a workshop is needed, and she would like to see mobility scooters and other things factored into the plan.
Councillor Stephen Tancred made the final remark that from a tourism perspective, it would be good to link up motels and restaurants to make the region easier for tourists to navigate.
The motion, to receive the correspondence, was moved by Councillor Gow and seconded by Councillor McDonald.