7 February 2023
Condamine River Road is one of the Southern Down’s most treasured natural icons and necessary works to ensure its long term usability will soon commence after sustained damaged from frequent wet weather events.
Following 18 months of extensive public consultation with local residents and interested parties, the Condamine River Road Management Policy adopted by Council in December 2021 identified maintenance protocols that will deliver a workable plan with a balanced approach to managing the road.
Thanks to $1.252m jointly funded by the Australian Government and Queensland Governments under the Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements for the Southern Queensland Severe Weather 20-31 March 2021, plus approximately $752k from the Transport Infrastructure Development Scheme and Council, a contractor has been appointed and works can commence on the four identified priority crossings.
Southern Downs Mayor Vic Pennisi said he is pleased to see a lasting solution for the public road finally come to fruition and thanks everyone who worked together to make it possible.
“I want to commend the residents, Council officers and government agencies who worked together to produce a realistic action plan for the road,” Mayor Pennisi said.
“The road traverses a complex natural environment within Cambanoora Gorge, and when rain is received into the Condamine River catchment, water levels at the crossings inevitably rise and make the road impassable.
“It becomes even more difficult when the road is impacted by flood damage as repairs are subject to the substrate being sufficiently dry to carry heavy machinery and pack repair materials into the road surface.”
Under the funding arrangement, Long Crossing, Blackfellow Crossing, Mill Crossing and then Second Crossing will all be upgraded with permanent floodway structures that allow for the normal flow of water through the river system, including facilitating the movement of fish and wildlife on their natural migratory paths through the Condamine River ecosystem.
The waterways around the road are classified as ‘Red Waterways’ and maintenance on the river crossings is governed by legislation which ensures that Council cannot undertake works without approval from the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (DAF).
“The crossings have been designed to be resilient and comply with barrier works and legislative requirements through DAF,” Mayor Pennisi said.
“The installation of permanent floodway structures at these four crossings, together with depth gauges and electronic signage, will significantly improve safe access on the road for both residents and tourists.
“It is very exciting to finally set the wheels in motion to enhance and protect one of our region’s most valued natural assets and Council is extremely grateful for the support and guidance received from the department.”
Weather permitting, work will commence in mid-February and the road will be closed to all through traffic. Access to Condamine River Road will only be possible via Killarney and/or Brosnan Road from the west and Spring Creek from the east. Council will work directly with impacted residents to ensure access to their properties.
This project is proudly funded by the Queensland Government through the Transport Infrastructure Development Scheme and Southern Downs Regional Council.