Construction work to install missing roads and drainage systems on the Memerambi Estate is expected to be completed within a month, weather permitting
Roads & Drainage Portfolio chair Cr Spud Jones

June 16, 2016

Memerambi Estate property owners should be able to move into their partially completed homes and begin bringing them up to scratch by the end of July.

Roads portfolio chair Cr Spud Jones told Wednesday’s Council meeting contractors have been continuing roadworks and earthworks at the site.

This work is expected to take another month, weather permitting, after which the estate will finally be habitable.

Contractors have been building missing internal roads and installing a detention basin and drainage systems to handle stormwater issues on the estate.

Property owners were left in the lurch when the estate’s developer Summit View Meritor Pty Ltd went into liquidation in August 2013.

The developer had used a loophole in the former Kingaroy Shire Planning Scheme to build houses on the estate – which is one of the region’s historical sub-divisions – in advance of building infrastructure.

The developer was paid in full when houses on the Estate reached 80 per cent completion, and had planned to use this money to fund the infrastructure works.

But when the scheme collapsed, owners found they were unable to move into their houses because the missing infrastructure rendered the area uninhabitable.

The Council reached an arrangement with property owners last year to build the missing infrastructure itself.

It declared the estate a “Benefitted Area” and borrowed the $2.1 million required to carry out the work from Queensland Treasury.

Owners will repay their share of the cost, plus interest, over 10 years.

* * *

The South Burnett’s bridge network should almost be back to to full working order within the next twelve months.

The Council embarked on an ambitious bridge replacement program in late 2013 when a post-flood inspection of the South Burnett’s bridge network disclosed six were in such poor shape they had to have immediate load limits imposed on them to ensure public safety.

Three dual-lane bridges were also reduced to single lanes for similar reasons, while another seven were assessed to be nearing the end of their working lives.

At the time, former Mayor Wayne Kratzmann estimated the cost of replacing or rehabilitating all 16 bridges was “upwards of $10 million”.

While the Council didn’t have the funds to tackle all the bridges immediately, Councillors decided to embark on a multi-year program to fix the problem.

At Wednesday’s SBRC meeting, Cr Jones reported a recent tender awarded to Professional Bridge Services to upgrade timber bridges at Webbers Creek, Manar, Stumckes Road and the Gayndah-Hivesville Road was progressing well.

The Webbers Creek bridge was rehabilitated last week, and Cr Jones expected the other three would also be finished in coming weeks.

Cr Jones said tenders are now being called to replace two more timber bridges – one at Kings Bridge Road in Wyalla and the other at Silverleaf Road in Marshlands – and he expected a contractor would be appointed at next month’s Council meeting.

This will leave about four bridges still to be attended to, and they are likely to be addressed in the up-coming 2016-17 Budget.

* * *

The Tingoora-Chelmsford Road should reopen to normal traffic next week if everything goes to plan, Cr Jones said.

A lengthy diversion has been in place on the road for several weeks while Council staff have been realigning a dangerous corner near Tingoora.

Weather permitting, normal traffic will be restored shortly.

* * *

Drivers wanting to travel between Blackbutt and Crow’s Nest will need to use an alternate route next Tuesday, June 21.

A section of the Blackbutt-Crow’s Nest Road between Haynes Kite Millar Road and Ogilvie’s Road will be closed between 6:30am and 3:00pm that day.

The closure will allow Council staff to carry out tree-lopping.

The work is part of an extensive upgrade of the road, which is being widened and reconstructed because of increasing traffic volumes.

* * *

A sharp dip at the intersection of Pine and Coulson Streets in Blackbutt will soon be a thing of the past.

Council work crews will be reconstructing the southern section of Pine Street between the medical centre and the police station as part of the town’s CBD stormwater drainage project.

As well as eliminating the dip, the reconstruction will improve parking in the area.

The stormwater project is currently at John Street and will continue up the hill towards Pine Street in coming weeks.

* * *

Council grader crews will be tackling dirt roads in three areas over the next four weeks.

Crews have been assigned to the Greenview, Runnymede and Neumgna localities.

Meanwhile, the widening of two sharp crests on Weens Road north-west of Kingaroy, which have forced drivers to move onto the road’s unsealed shoulders to avoid head-on collisions, is almost complete.

Apart from widening the crests from single to dual lanes and building tapered approaches, Council work crews have also sealed a deformed section between the two crests.

* * *

Draft plans to remediate a long-standing problem area at Tessmann’s Road North have been drawn up, Cr Jones told Wednesday’s meeting.

The area, which is home to the endangered Phebalium distans plant, is prone to flooding in wet weather due to stormwater run-off from a nearby housing estate.

But Cr Jones warned there would be no immediate action on the project.

This was because further consultation is needed, and any work will also need the approval of State and Federal Government agencies who have an interest in the area.

* * *

Plans to use recycled water from Kingaroy’s new Waste Water Treatment Plant for irrigating the town’s sporting fields are advancing.

Cr Jones said officers are working on a design for a new water main that will connect the plant to tanks located at the Kingaroy Cricket Grounds next to Beangrowers.

No construction date has yet been set.

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