ROCKY'S RING ROAD: 'Let's find out the real cost'
IT IS A project that is heavily contested among the Rockhampton region residents. Some are for it and some are against.
President of the Capricornia Chamber of Commerce Peter Fraser is on the "no” side of the fence.
The Rockhampton Ring Road is planned to provide a western link of the Bruce Highway to the west of Rockhampton, with links into Capricorn Hwy, Ridgelands Rd, Alexandra St and Yaamba Rd.
The 22km project would run from the Yeppen Roundabout along the western side of the airport to a third bridge crossing before connecting with the Bruce Hwy at Parkhurst.
Planning is expected to be finalised by late next year and it is estimated to cost between $1 - $1.5 billion.
"What a wonderful piece of news the ring road around Rockhampton, or is it?” President Peter Fraser said.
"Let's just think about this for a second - we now have the potential to lose all of the private cars that are coming from south to north or north to south that would otherwise pass through Rockhampton and now are no longer going to pass through our restaurants, our accommodation venues or anything else.”
Mr Fraser said drivers are "simply going to take the Ring Road that is going to take them right around the outside of Rockhampton.”
And it wouldn't actually remove all of the heavy vehicles.
"B Double traffic is still going to come into Rockhampton, we are going to have Woolworths, Bunnings trucks and similar,” Mr Fraser said.
"We are still going to have cattle trucks come in because they meatworks are on Emu Park Rd so what are we really going to be removing.”
Mr Fraser said as he sees it and as the Chamber of Commerce sees it, a number of individuals are going to be moving out of the our city for no reason.
He said it is a State and Federal Government initiative, paid for by them and the only benefit is to "speed up the driving time from Brisbane to Cairns or vice versa.”
"But in reality what does it really do for Rockhampton and the Capricorn Coast?”
"We are going to see a lot less people stopping here to stay here overnight potentially and we are going to see a lot less people stopping at our eateries.”
In what could be a big hit, Mr Fraser said all of the jobs that can be gained from the road construction could be potentially lost in other industries such as hospitality.
"At the moment no one has done any economic modelling that we are aware of to evaluate the benefits to the Rockhampton economy and the detriments to the Rockhampton economy and the Capricorn Coast. An economic model will enable us to view what we're going to benefit out what we are going to lose out.
"We have even heard of the fact that our access to airports and hospitals is increased via a ring road but is that it? Lets find out what the real cost to our local economy is.”