7 February, 2023
Families plead for a safe road home
YEAR after year, families at the end of McIver Road have had to navigate dangerous washouts, fast running water and slippery surfaces as the last few hundred metres of their road remains unsealed despite years of pleading to Mareeba Shire Council.
McIver Road begins from the Kennedy Highway, stretching down past St Stephen’s Catholic College and around to Tilse Street however the last kilometre, where families, young children and elderly residents live, remains unsealed.
The recent deluge of rain has caused areas of the road to deteriorate faster and more severely than previous years, with massive potholes and washouts forming towards the end of the road.
The residents have banded together multiple times over the years to voice their grievances, with three separate petitions being presented to council, all falling on deaf ears.
Council has met with residents including the Mayor on more than one occasion, however the road remains a non-priority.
Allma Memeti has lived on McIver Road for six years with her partner and their young children and is worried that without a sealed surface, the washouts will only get worse.
“We had such a big washout that the people living in the last house couldn’t get in, they had to leave their car outside of our house and walk the rest of the way,” she said.
“It’s 700 metres of road and we have been asking them since 2015, we are not expecting them to come out next week and fix it – they’ve got a big workload.
“But you’d think after all these years something would have been done.”
The residents are not only worried about washouts at the end of the street, but also the slippery surface of the un-sealed road and some residents do not have a four-wheel drive vehicle to negotiate the section.
“The middle stretch is just like sludge, you have to slow right down and you still slip and slide,” Ms Memeti said.
“You always get the same reply, a technical reply basically saying they don’t want to do it.
“It’s just little things too – my kids want to go for a walk and I can’t take them when it’s mud, they want to ride their bikes but it’s not safe.”
Mareeba Mayor Angela Toppin said as development in the area expanded, further sections of the road would be sealed.
“Many of our primary producers would like to have sealed roads, however the ratepayer simply cannot fund this,” she said.
“Council is always willing to discuss upgrades to infrastructure, including the sealing of roads with landowners, on the basis that the landowner contributes to the works where the works are to directly benefit specific properties. This means the cost is not borne by the ratepayer.
“This is an option that is being explored for McIver Road.”