Safety issues are a major consideration in reopening Duck Creek Road, according to a new document prepared by stakeholders.
Duck Creek Road, which connects the Kerry Valley to Lamington National Park Road, has been closed since it sustained damage from Cyclone Debbie in 2017.
‘A community submission in support of the re opening of Duck Creek Road’, put together by a group of Kerry residents, states that in addition to tourism factors, ‘There is also a compelling safety reason to reopen this road as it provides a second emergency egress route for Green Mountain in the event of natural disasters (fire, landslide, tree falls) which could effectively cut off the mountain and O’Reilly’s Rainforest retreat’.
Community members who prepared the document are calling for a five kilometre section of road to receive significant repairs as soon as possible in order to reopen the dirt road.
The document states that the balance of the road is in good order and would only require minor repairs to be suitable for two wheel drive vehicles in dry weather.
“We believe the five kilometre section of currently badly degraded road should be a repair priority. This may include bitumen or concrete track sections in steeper more eroded sections, to permit 2WD traverse in dry weather,” the report states.
Scenic Rim Regional Council recently secured funding from the Australian Government’s Disaster Ready Fund towards developing a detailed design for the reconstruction of Duck Creek Road.
A Council spokesperson said having a finalised design will enable Council to be fully aware of the scope of on-ground works required for an anticipated budget to complete the work.
“Council has and continues to allocate funds within its annual budget to undertake design for possible future projects,” the spokesperson said.
“This enables Council to have ‘shovel ready’ projects as well as an increased understanding of the potential issues and costs associated with possible projects within its future years possible program of work.”
In September 2019, approximately 100 guests and staff members were evacuated from O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat during the Black Summer Bushfires.
Emergency services were unable to use the alternative Duck Creek Road as an evacuation route.
Division 3 Councillor Virginia West, said she understands the frustrations of the community in relation to the reopening of Duck Creek Road.
“Council has applied for three grant funding rounds for this project – the first two of which were unsuccessful and the latest, although successful, fell short of the amount requested. I am pleased that some funding has been allocated for design projects in this year’s Budget.”
“In coming weeks Council officers and I will be meeting with residents who are championing this project to keep them informed of Council’s progress to date.”