IN OFFICE: Southern Downs Regional Council with Vic Pennisi as Mayor in Warwick chambers. Picture: contributed
IN OFFICE: Southern Downs Regional Council with Vic Pennisi as Mayor in Warwick chambers. Picture: contributed

Councillors lock horns over Cherrabah controversy

SOUTHERN Downs councillors have locked horns in a debate over roadworks required before the controversial groundwater extraction project at Cherrabah can start.

At the ordinary meeting this afternoon, councillors were asked to vote on widening the main road to the Elbow Valley facility to at least 5.5m in a staged, as-needed approach.

Councillor Cynthia McDonald was one of the first to voice her concerns on the gradual development, saying the Cherrabah facility's function as a resort and events centre in addition to the water trucking would soon exceed the road's vehicle limit.

"Having driven (Keoghs Rd) last week, it is extremely dangerous - it is narrow, it is windy, and for those people who aren't used to driving that road, it is an accident waiting to happen," Cr McDonald said.

 

Developers Joyful Views Garden Real Estate Company is also proposing extraction from a granite mine in the Cherrabah area. Picture: contributed
Developers Joyful Views Garden Real Estate Company is also proposing extraction from a granite mine in the Cherrabah area. Picture: contributed

But Mayor Vic Pennisi was quick to shut down any argument taken from an events or tourism-based approach.

"I'm sorry Cr McDonald, we're not discussing events, that was a different application with a different set of conditions," Cr Pennisi said.

"Please stick to what's in front of you, which is the application we have - please stick to that, or I'll call you out of order."

Cr McDonald swiftly withdrew her previous comments, though the divisive issue was far from addressed.

Fellow councillors Andrew Gale, Stephen Tancred, Marco Gliori, and Deputy Mayor Ross Bartley initially divided council with a proposal to return to their original set of conditions and see the roadworks completed in one operation.

After lengthy debate, Councillors Sheryl Windle, Cameron Gow, and Jo McNally joined Crs Pennisi, Bartley, and Gliori in voting through the staged approach to widening Keoghs Rd.

"If we oppose a condition on this road that is not fair and reasonable, we will be defending that condition, potentially, in a court of law, and that money could be better invested in our region," Cr Pennisi said.

"We had this discussion before today, there was a decision to support it, and I'm going to continue to support it in line with the (council) officer's recommendation."

Developer Joyful Views Garden Real Estate Company's application to extract and truck 95ML of bore water to the Gold Coast was approved at the end of last year.



Warwick girl, 16, fights for life after high-speed crash

Premium Content Warwick girl, 16, fights for life after high-speed crash

Four teens from Warwick area hospitalised after two cars crash in suspected hooning...

Desperate plea for plan to save Queensland

Premium Content Desperate plea for plan to save Queensland

Your Say 2020: Desperate plea for plan to save Queensland

What Queenslanders really think of our state

Premium Content What Queenslanders really think of our state

Sentiment survey: Queenslanders have their say