Community & Business

25 June, 2024

Angry Mareeba residents blast council for concrete mix-up

AN attempt to improve the walkability of Mareeba has been met with backlash from residents, after Mareeba Shire Council installed several concrete barriers along Ceola Drive and Anzac Avenue.

By Ellie Fink

Ceola Drive resident Daniel Haines is now struggling to access his driveway as a result of new concrete islands.
Ceola Drive resident Daniel Haines is now struggling to access his driveway as a result of new concrete islands.

Concrete blocks have been laid along the roadside as a way to improve the safety of walkers, but have caused issues among residents when it comes to accessing their homes. 

The project was funded by state government, as a part of their “Lighter Affordable Effective (LAE) concept (which is) based on implementing community-identified, small-scale projects that test ideas and solutions”.

Ceola Drive residents Michelle, Peter and Daniel Haines were all shocked when came home to see the “ugly” islands near their driveway. 

The family of three, which often has visitors, said they could no longer have guests park outside of their home and will now have to put this garbage bins on the road for collection. 

“These are hazardous, unsightly, impractical, and not giving access to yards or street parking, which has always been possible,” she said. 

“I felt for our next-door neighbours (whom I rang) with a large caravan and the school bus, which pulls up to the curve outside. 

“We run a youth group program, where parents drop and pick up from outside house, safely, with little distraction – however now they can't - they have to use the opposite side road which is completely unsafe. 

“Our rubbish bin has to sit out at bollard edge now, right at edge of road and not on nature strip as before, making it unsafe for road users if blown over. I have also been informed if they cannot get bin, they will leave it full, and miss out places.”

Mrs Haines was also concerned about the runoff during the wet season, as her street constantly floods during heavy rain events. 

Council has defended the project, saying it would greatly benefit those who walk from Amaroo into the CBD and to the Bicentennial Lakes precinct. 

Consultation took place with residents several weeks ago, with most residents supportive of the initiative, according to Mayor Angela Toppin. 

“Council officers have engaged directly with residents who live alongside the new walking infrastructure and those that walk there to discuss the projects and any concerns. Generally, residents were supportive of the project,” she said. 

Mayor Toppin also clarified that approved school bus routes, as determined by the Department of Transport and Main Roads, and approved driveway accesses were also considered as part of this project.

Mrs Haines said, however, this was not the case, and said majority of residents had no idea the project included the large concrete bollards. 

“A letter dated 27 May was sent out to all the houses; it said it would be lighter, effective and affordable and explained the project with a map,” she said. 

“However, there was no mention of 'concrete bollards' and within two weeks structure had commenced.”

A petition will be created by the Haines family in the coming days to ask council to remove the bollards. 

It is understood the bollard barriers will be painted with zebra crossing strips, speed limit signs and “smiley faces” in the coming weeks. 

Other sites council will being making LAE improvements on include the Constance and Atherton Street Intersection pedestrian crossing, the installation of a kerb ramp for accessibility on the Lloyd and Walsh Street intersection and a walking lane on Anzac Avenue.


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