Large says trucks will make some streets "virtually uninhabitable”
IN A letter to the editor, outspoken Rockhampton resident Barry Large has called out former MP Robert Schwarten on his alleged lack of action when it comes to taking cattle trucks off our main roads and poor flood-proofing in the region.
Barry began his letter by claiming that after the road works are completed near Stockland shopping centre, B double cattle trucks will have to travel an extra 7kms through Rockhampton city, will go through an additional 17 sets of lights, be in smelling distance of the centre's new outdoor dining area and make several streets "virtually uninhabitable" due to the smell and noise.
Mr Large then points back to former MP Kirsten Livermore, for whom he was an advisor, and her efforts when it came to removing cattle trains from the CBD.
"In 2007 Kirsten Livermore sought to achieve 3 things in this area, remove trains from the centre of town, remove heavy trucks (particularly cattle trucks) from the centre of town and provide an entrance to Rockhampton with better flood immunity"
"The Commonwealth Government would pay the State to prepare the plan.
"It was never going to be easy and there is an email trail a mile long as Kirsten fought to have something done.
"At this moment, Robert Schwarten and his surrogate Brad Carter got their way and the good people of Rockhampton lost the opportunity to have something done and are condemned to live with what we now have.
"Kirsten fought on, and there are reams of paper on her work and indeed my work to get the trains and trucks moved.
"So now we have a supplementary "quick-fix" to the original Carter-Schwarten "quick fix" and I fear Rockhampton will have to live with trains in Denison St and cattle trucks on George St and Musgrave St for a very long time.
"In short, they decided the least controversial thing to do was to run the Bruce Highway and railway line smack bang up the middle of the floodplain, after 2030 of course.
"The suggestion to construct a major piece of National Infrastructure, not just across a floodplain but right along the "centre" obviously defies common sense...
"Given the weight of scientific evidence and simple common-sense against it, it will never happen and of course it would do nothing to remove the cattle trucks from thundering down Musgrave St"
"So I put the Western Bypass in the well know category of "tell them something to shut em up" "quick fixes", knowing all along it will never happen.
"That opportunity missed, someone in Rocky needs to start this process again. I and my files on the subject are available to help."
Mr Schwarten hit back at Mr Large saying the studies and consultancies that went into designing flood proofing for the region were well-thought out and vetted.
"Barry Large has never got over the fact that an independent study carried out by the Department of Main Roads under the leadership of one of the most talented, intelligent and honest regional engineers Terry Hill did not share his view," Mr Schwarten wrote.
"Unlike Mr Large I have never presumed to be a traffic, engineering or planning expert.
"I accepted the report that was prepared by consultants on behalf of the department as I had no reason not too.
"Mr Large said amongst other things that there was a conspiracy between myself, the then Mayor, council engineers, The Main Roads department and the independent consultants to come up with a prearranged and predetermined plan.
"Little wonder he embraces One Nation with theories like that.
"Aside from the study the real priority for the city was to get Yeppoon flood proofed.
"Between Kirsten and I we achieved the funds and the result is there for all to see.
"The study was funded by the Federal government and the outcome I thought made sense, one other other option involved the wholesale disruption of the Berserker area and Barry's idea was evaluated as being not feasible.
"I had no preconceived plan, I respected the expert report as I had no reason not to.
"Also as Kirsten's chief adviser Barry knows there were no funds to build any option coming from the Federal Government and this is still the case."