By Renee Wood
Cr Fiona McAllister moved an urgent motion in response to increasing road safety concerns on Hill Road in Gruyere at the Ordinary Council Meeting on Tuesday 10 May.
Cr McAllister foreshadowed she would move the urgent item earlier in the night during the deliberation on the planning application for Giant Steps winery on Briarty Road, which highlighted the need for an investigation to council.
Hill Road also runs closely to the proposed expansion of the wine production business and is well known by local residents as a ‘dangerous road’.
Cr McAllister moved the motion for officers to investigate options for improving traffic access and safety of Hill Road, Gruyere and provide a report back to council for further consideration.
Over recent years the area has changed with more properties shifting to grapevines and establishing wineries.
The local roads are still only suited to one lane traffic and is seeing high volumes of heavy vehicles and increased tourism traffic coming through.
The intention of the report is to deliver road improvement works through Council’s Capital Expenditure Program in 2022/23.
“It’s been more an ongoing inssue that’s building importance in the Gruyere community and certainly a concern of mine,” Cr McAllister said.
“As I drove up and down Hill Road, like others, and considering the planning application that was before us this evening I was reminded of how scary that road can be.
Hill road is one of many not just in my ward but certainly in O’Shannassy Ward where because of changes in use and some extent in development that the way the road was designed is no longer safe.”
Cr McAllister said that residents often wait at the top of the hill, honk and pull out ‘hoping for the best’.
“It’s starting a process that we are looking at what ways we can improve safety for not only the residents but others like myself who do travel up and down Hill Road from time to time.
Cr Tim Heenan seconded the motion and said concerns of safety on that road were brought up during his two years as mayor.
“There are some roads that have a changing face as time goes on and our rural roads in the municipality and this is one of them,” Cr Heenan said.
“It’s high time that we take this action and we hopefully will take tonight to address those safety concerns for the residents in Hill Road in order to make sure we can fulfil our duties as councillors.”
The motion was carried unanimously.