Rural numbering best policy
THE successful rural numbering system introduced by the Mackay Regional Council cannot be forced on other local government authorities throughout Queensland, Coroner John Hutton said yesterday.
Thousands of Mackay people have used the rural numbering system since it was introduced in late 2010, several months after the death of heart attack victim Greg Van Moolenbroek on a property off Devereux Creek Rd near Marian.
Two ambulances took up to 75 minutes to locate Mr Van Moolenbroek on a remote, unidentifiable site.
Ambulance officers were faced with an enormous challenge in locating the property, Kerri Mellifont, SC, told a two-day inquest this week.
Representing the Department of Community Safety, Ms Mellifont said: "The point of access into the property turned out to be something far short of a driveway or discernible track.
"The area was heavily grassed to about 60-70cm high. There was no signage, no rural property number and no identifiable landmark beyond a gum tree in an area full of gum trees."
Under the rural numbering system, the council provides free star pickets with numbers matching the distance from the nearest crossroad. The numbers accurately identify entry to a property and are displayed prominently, angled for maximum visibility and on reflective signs.
Coroner Hutton said he sought advice from the Local Government Association and the state government about mandatory fitting of property numbers on all properties in Queensland.
"This was not a suggestion which was supported, largely on the issue of cost in circumstances of severe financial restrictions, and the common law responsibility for property numbering from the property owner," Mr Hutton said.
Mr Hutton suggested other regional councils adopt "the sensible and possibly life-saving approach taken by Mackay Regional Council in rural numbering".