COMMUNITY DIVIDED: New funding could reignite controversy over SDRC’s development along Condamine River Rd. Picture: file
COMMUNITY DIVIDED: New funding could reignite controversy over SDRC’s development along Condamine River Rd. Picture: file

New funding in works for Cambanoora Gorge ‘management’

POTENTIAL new funding for the Cambanoora Gorge area is set to reignite the debate on the Southern Downs Regional Council’s controversial river crossings.

At the ordinary meeting this week, the SDRC discussed their application for $4.4 million under the Local Economic Development Program, $150,000 of which could be allocated to the Condamine River Rd if successful.

Close to 2,000 residents signed a petition last year against 13 new concrete culverts spanning 12kms of the Gorge, citing tourism and environmental concerns, and were “outraged” when development began regardless.

With many locals remaining staunchly against further upgrades, Mayor Vic Pennisi said any future decision must be well-considered, rational, and in the community’s best interests.

“The community is split in relation to how (Cambanoora Gorge) should be treated, and it will be a controversial decision to be made going forward,” Cr Pennisi said.

“It’s a very emotive issue, not everybody agrees, and we will need to make a decision going forward on how we should best deal with that part of the world.

“However, claims the SDRC is advertising that part of the area as a 4WD track is incorrect, we do not advertise that anywhere.”

Acting director for sustainable development Craig Magnussen confirmed council officers would continue consulting one-on-one with residents before any other development.

“Someone will be before council next month with some recommendations on some management actions to resolve some issues going on there for quite a period of time,” Mr Magnussen said.

“It’s a holistic view – we don’t want to look at what we do with the road and the crossings themselves, we want to look at how to best protect the environmental assets there, how we can promote eco-tourism, and improve the economy with some improved management actions.”



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