Push for new bridge to Granville
A NEW push has been made for a second bridge to Granville, after the area was completely cut off from the outside world last week – leaving families isolated with no food or essential medicine.
Thousands of people were left stranded when the river rose suddenly last Saturday morning, cutting them off from Maryborough for a week and leaving them completely inaccessible for five days.
“It is not acceptable for Granville to be isolated for such a long time,” mayor Mick Kruger said.
“It’s not just Granville, but Poona, Maaroom and Boonooroo and other places – and they’re not just cut off, they’re cut off from food and medical aid.”
A spokeswoman for Federal Minister for Regional Australia Simon Crean, who visited Granville in his tour of Maryborough yesterday, said Mr Crean would offer support if a formal proposal was put in place.
“The minister would be happy to see a proposal from the Fraser Coast Regional Council for another bridge to Granville,” the spokeswoman said.
Mr Kruger said the Local Disaster Management Group would hold a debriefing session in the next few weeks, which would be the first step in making a formal request.
He said there had already been discussions with Main Roads that suggested a new bridge could be built between Woodstock and Banana streets so that people did not become trapped if one bridge was closed or flooded.
“The disaster management group will look at evacuation plans, because that is what will really need improvement,” Mr Kruger said.
“We will then request a meeting with Main Roads to discuss its ability to fund a new bridge to Granville.”
Fraser Coast councillor David Dalgleish also voiced his support for the proposal.
“If so many people are living in that area, they will need an alternative access route,” Mr Dalgleish said.
“A key question from the people at Poona and Boonooroo for the disaster management group was whether they should evacuate to Gympie, which goes under at the first sight of rain, or go to Granville when so many people are trying to get across that narrow little bridge.”
He said there were also concerns over the safety of the ageing bridge, particularly if it was struck by debris or a boat during flooding – as happened last week.
“The bridge isn’t getting any younger – how many more times can it handle floods?” he asked.
The Department of Main Roads could not respond to requests for comment in time for publication.