Gorge petition paying off for passionate residents
MONTHS of environmental advocacy paid off for community group Save Cambanoora Gorge after their petition was formally acknowledged by the Southern Downs Regional Council.
The petition called on council to reconsider the proposed construction of 14 river crossings along Condamine River Rd in Killarney.
The crossings were proposed to allow rural residents access to town during floods and prevent road accidents.
Engineering company Kehoe-Myer delivered their final report to council on June 30, which recommended the installation of “suitable infrastructure.”
But more than 1700 people signed the petition to prevent concrete culverts from damaging the pristine, natural beauty of the area.
Petitioners wrote that retaining the crossings in their natural state would preserve tourism appeal for decades to come and pleaded with council to consider the impact on biodiversity.
“I feel the concreting of the crossings would have a pronounced negative impact,” wrote one signatory from Bellara.
According to resident Tony Pearson, the concrete could create problems by leeching chemicals into the waterways and impacting the local wildlife.
Councillor Yve Stocks moved the motion to consider concerns raised by the petition in any future decisions regarding the river crossings.
SDRC acknowledged “the role and value that natural areas such as the Cambanoora Gorge … play in our region.”
Long term tourism strategies for the popular 4X4 destination will be considered in the 2020/21 financial budget.
Founders of the environmental group considered council’s response a success and thanked councillors for supporting a sustainable vision of the Cambanoora Gorge.
In a Facebook comment, the group said Environmental Defenders Office Queensland would be “watching this space now.”