I would like to thank those from the Landsborough community who joined us on Friday 26th April for the public forum to discuss their concerns and aspirations for this town when the rail overpass is finally built. I would also like to thank State Member for Glasshouse Andrew Powell and Cr Rick Baberowski for joining the day’s discussions as well as community guest speakers Ken Husband, Tim Fitzpatrick, Chris Bruhn and Jeff Harris. However, we were not joined by Transport Minister Mark Bailey or representatives from the Department of Transport and Main Roads, both stating that a public meeting to discuss the overpass was too “premature”.
We are still some way from actually breaking ground on this project but it is certain the State Government will be going forward with a rail overpass and, with the introduction of faster trains, the level crossings will have to close for community safety. Landsborough has grown understandably frustrated with the Government’s mixed messaging on this issue. While some residents have already received information about land resumption and design concepts have been made public, there is nothing in the forward budget to actually begin construction on the overpass. It is possible that we could see money for this put into the 19/20 budget but we simply don’t know yet. What is certain is that any overpass will without a doubt have an impact on this town.
However, as a community Landsborough can decide if the future will be bleak or virtuous. There have been many concerns raised – concerns that at times are completely at odds with one another. But what I personally took away from Friday was the sense that this is a proud community. This is a community that does not just want to exist as a blip along the Bruce Highway. This is a community that is growing a rich identity steeped in heritage and it is willing to stand up and fight for that identity.
The forum had what I feel was a very successful conclusion. Members of the respective groups in town, and other resident and business owners agreed to come together to form a new Reference Group of 14 with the first meeting to be held at the end of May. This group will be self-managed and will aim to take on all sides, all perspectives and form a cohesive vision. Myself, along with Andrew Powell and Rick Baberowski have agreed to remain in close contact with the group and provide any information and guidance required.
If you were unable to attend the meeting on Friday and would like to share your views or join the community mailing list, you can complete a survey on my website at: https://www.markmcardlemp.com/landsborough-rail-overpass-proposal
I will be sure to keep the community informed of the Reference Group’s progress.