How Bell Street looking south towards Bell could look in a few years if residents approve the South Burnett Regional Council’s latest plans for Kumbia’s CBD upgrade (Graphic: SBRC)

August 31, 2021

South Burnett Regional Council will hold public consultations from mid-September with Kumbia residents on the latest draft designs for the town’s CBD upgrade.

Councillors are expected to approve the draft designs for the project at this Wednesday’s Infrastructure standing committee meeting.

The designs have been produced after community meetings held in 2019 and 2020 to discuss possible CBD upgrades.

A key aim of the upcoming consultation meetings will be to allow Council officers to develop the plans to “shovel-ready” stage to take advantage of possible funding opportunities or – if none arise – future Budget deliberations.

Plans to upgrade Kumbia’s CBD first began being discussed by the Council in 2015, when former Mayor Wayne Kratzmann announced a $60,000 plan to line Bell Street with trees.

But when that plan ran into problems with the Department Of Transport and Main Roads, the project was shelved until 2019 when former councillor Ros Heit organised several community meetings to determine what residents really wanted.

This led the Council to develop an initial draft plan that was circulated to residents at a public meeting held at Kumbia Hall last December.

The latest plan takes those previous consultations into account.

The draft plan would lead to footpaths being installed along both sides of Bell Street, interspersed with trees and build-outs, one with a shaded seating for pedestrians.

The upgrade would offer a mix of angled, parallel and disabled parking areas, along with a parking area for buses, trucks or caravans and a designated bus stop.

Kumbia State School’s existing pedestrian crossing would be retained, and a second “pedestrian refuge” crossing would be built midway between Lenihans Butchery and Francis Street.

A “town artwork lantern” and a public notice board would also be built in the pedestrian refuge to allow local community groups to publicise their events, and the red DV awareness bench outside Kumbia Hall would be retained.

Costings for the project are expected to be drawn up once a final project design is approved.

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Another view of Bell Street looking northwards towards Kingaroy … the new streetscape would offer a mix of angled and parallel parking, including disabled parking bays and a pull-over area for trucks, buses and caravans (Graphic: SBRC)

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