Nurseries in the firing line of the Rocky Ring Road project
PEOPLE living in 55 properties along the path of Rockhampton's proposed Ring Road received an important letter from Australia Post yesterday today.
Co-owner of Fitzroy Nurseries with his brothers, Peter Dargel was among those who received the letter from the Department of Main Roads containing the first details pertaining the fate of their land, which stands in the way of a future road and rail corridor.
Mr Dargel is one of the three generations of nurserymen who have worked at the Pink Lily site since it was founded in 1973.
He's known for a while now that the bulldozers were coming to the property since initial the Ring Road plans were proposed as part of the 2011 Fitzroy River Floodplain and Road Planning Study.
Looking over the letter sent to him by Department of Main Roads Project Manager Gavin Hill, Mr Dargel said while there was no time frame given about when construction would commence, the stated purpose of the project was to keep heavy vehicles out of the urban area.
He noted that the $65 million funding committed for the planning and preservation phase of the Rockhampton Ring Road consisted of $52 million from the Australian government and $13 million from the Queensland government.
"There's a phone number (in the letter) where we can arrange to have a meeting with the bodies that are involved in the development of it, they will be coming up to Rockhampton in a couple of weeks time,” Mr Dargel said.
"We'll give them a call in the next day or so and just go from there.”
Mr Dargel said the letter talked about the 22km deviation by-pass showing a map of the proposed route and the lot numbers of the properties that would be affected by the development.
"It doesn't really affect us that badly, it doesn't go through our nursery which is a bonus,” he said.
"It's not far off the nursery complex itself, there would have to acquire some of our land because they have a rail corridor and a four lane highway.
Mr Dargel said only a little portion of their land would be affected by the project and that would be fine provided that they were adequately compensated for the value of the acquired land.
"For us it's not going to affect our business at all except having a highway next to it,” he said.
"If there was an access road right here, that would be handy but that won't happen.”
Mr Dargel expressed concern about other people along Norman Road who would be more drastically affected by the development (including Oram's Nursery) and questioned whether the development was worthwhile given Rockhampton's current population.
"It's a bit of a waste of time and money as far as I'm concerned, traffic in Rocky is nothing,” he said.
"The way they are talking about getting the trucks out of town, Rocky's not big enough to warrant that, we could easily deviate it somewhere else or don't even worry about it.
"If you lived in a capital city with millions of people, with lots of traffic, it would be totally different, I just don't understand why they're doing it.”
Regional Director Dave Grosse said the project, which was currently costed at up to $1.5 billion, was a 'game-changer' for the region.
"Not all properties will be needed in their entirety and the actual take will be determined through the engagement and planning phase of the project,” he said.