November 22, 2018
South Burnett Regional Council will spend $1.24 million in 2019-20 on a long-awaited fix for Murgon CBD’s footpaths.
At Wednesday’s monthly meeting, Councillors voted to commit $500,000 from Council’s infrastructure renewal budget, and an extra $500,000 from its next “Works For Queensland” grant, towards the project in the 2019-20 Budget.
The million dollars will be on top of a $240,000 allocation towards the project in Council’s current Budget.
Before the meeting, Mayor Keith Campbell told southburnett.com.au $1.24 million might sound like a lot for two footpaths on either side of Lamb Street, but the project was much bigger than it seemed.
“Council will be using this as an opportunity to upgrade or replace all the infrastructure below ground as well as the footpaths,” the Mayor said.
“Murgon is in much the same position as Kingaroy is right now.
“Most of the infrastructure was laid down 60 to 70 years ago, and it’s pretty close to the end of its working life.
“If we’re going to replace the CBD’s footpaths, this is also a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to upgrade the CBD’s infrastructure so it will last another 60 or 70 years.”
The Mayor said the biggest problem was that Council staff would not know exactly what they would find until they lifted the current footpath.
Over the past six decades, electricity and telecommunications infrastructure had been added to the town’s original water and sewer mains.
This meant staff have had to make an informed guess about the total cost of the project.
“Murgon’s CBD is also a very busy place, so it’s also important we undertake extensive community consultations before work starts,” Mayor Campbell said.
“We’ll need to do this work in a way that won’t significantly impact CBD traders or the general public.”
Mayor Campbell said he expected these consultations could take as long as six months.
Murgon’s footpaths have been a concern for the Murgon Business and Development Association (MBDA) for at least the past five years.
Deputy Mayor Kathy Duff, whose Division covers Murgon, has also been a persistent advocate for the project.
Work on upgrading the footpaths originally had been planned to take place in 2014, but the project was put on the backburner when urgent repairs needed to be made to Murgon’s Jubilee swimming pool.
The pool building was later demolished and replaced during $1.2 million upgrade.
After the pool reopened in late 2015, it was hoped work on the footpaths could proceed in 2016.
But after the March 2016 Council elections, all surplus funds were diverted to road repairs and upgrades and the footpath project was deferred again.