Birt Road residents met with South Burnett Mayor Brett Otto on Thursday night to raise concerns their road had been resurfaced two years ago with an unusual roadbase mixture that is now making them sick

March 25, 2022

South Burnett Regional Council will investigate materials used to resurface a Kingaroy road after residents expressed concerns it may be toxic.

On Thursday, nine sets of home owners living along a 2km strip of Birt Road met with South Burnett Mayor Brett Otto and Cr Kathy Duff to call on the Council to take urgent action to fix the road.

Residents said they were concerned the road had been resurfaced in 2020 with a mixture of gravel and something that seemed similar to concrete dust.

They said this had not only caused their homes and water tanks to be blanketed by dust whenever vehicles drove by, but raised health concerns as well.

One resident told the Mayor her husband – who had never smoked – had recently been diagnosed with lung cancer, and she believed dust from the road was the most likely cause.

Another said she suffered from asthma and had been in hospital twice since she moved to the area from Maleny.

This had never occurred when she lived on the Sunshine Coast hinterland, she said.

Apart from excessive dust whipped up by passing motorists, other residents told the Mayor the road also had severe drainage issues.

Troy and Samantha Hartshorn told the Mayor they were forced to sandbag the front door of their house every time it rained because drainage channel water now flooded their property.

This had never happened until the road was re-gravelled in May 2020, when the road surface was raised by roughly 20-30cm.

This meant the road was now higher than their driveway, which had created a new path for stormwater across their property.

Many of the residents said they had lodged complaints with the Council about the dust and drainage issues during the past two years.

But when nothing had been done, they thought it best to ask the Mayor to personally inspect the problems they were experiencing.

Mayor Otto said he appreciated the opportunity to meet them in person, and agreed the roadbase used on one section of Birt Road seemed significantly different to other sections.

He said he would have it examined to determine if it was toxic.

Mayor Otto said while Council had funds to seal the road, the estimated $950,000 cost meant other competing high-priority projects would need to be deferred if this occurred.

He said councillors were examining next year’s road projects as part of their Budget deliberations and it was likely to be a month or two before a final list could be drawn up.

Birt Road residents Samantha and Troy Hartshorn photographed outside their house after they first purchased it … the couple now have to sandbag their front door every time it rains to stop their home being flooded … they say regravelling in 2020 raised the road higher than their driveway and diverted drainage water on to their property (Photo: Supplied)
Residents say the problems with Birt Road include the raising of the road level but they also claim the roadbase contains a fine powder very similar to concrete dust (Photo: Supplied)

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One Response to "‘Toxic Dust’ Claims Put To Council"

  1. They use the same surface on Transmitter Road at Wooroolin, and the dust is horrific. We have complained in the past. There was a suggestion we contribute to the cost of bitumen on the road as it was one of the worst roads for dust prior to the last election. The letter we received from the council stated our contribution would be $70,000. This is for a public road that is well used by locals and hoons stirring up dust..

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