You shall not pass: grief for travellers
A regular user of the Bloomfield track has questioned the Douglas Shire’s decision to close the unsealed road after recent rainfall.
Chris Leach, who travels to Wujal from Cape Tribulation weekly said that the road was in good enough condition for local traffic and that closing the road was detrimental to local business and workers that rely on the road.
“I’ve got a bit of a beef with the council that they closed the road when seemingly, all intents and purposes it should be open at this stage.”
Mr Leach has defied the council closing the road from Monday, February 6, to today by driving anyway — which he suspects will draw the ire of the local government.
“I’m happy to have that fight.
“It’s just absolutely ridiculous that it’s shut.
“What I’ve just driven on is a really good road with some minor washouts in the usual places, which now seems enough to close the road and I’m just sort of wondering why and how.”
According to Mr Leach the trees that were reported to have fallen across the road were cleared quickly and there was evidence of other vehicles using the road.
He questioned the council’s response to close the road, accusing it of overreacting to normal weather conditions and setting a dangerous precedent for future wet seasons.
“If it continues to go down that track, the road will just be closed for four, five six months of the year as soon as it starts to rain, and that’s ludicrous.
Mr Leach said trees falling over the road during the wet season were “absolutely normal over my past experience of driving up to Wujal. I carry a chainsaw with me when I travel up there this time of year because as the soil gets wet, trees fall over.”
Multiple other members of the community have also contacted the DSC to voice their concerns.
The DSC confirmed that the road had been closed due to trees falling, and added that a landslip north of Emmagen Creek was also part of the reason.
According to general manager operations Nick Wellwood the DSC had acted properly by closing the road, and had not overreacted.
“The road is not safe for vehicles and Council will implement all actions deemed appropriate upon becoming aware of any public safety issue,” said Mr Wellwood.
“Council understands that closing the Bloomfield Track causes inconvenience to some residents and businesses. However ... Council takes public safety matters seriously and has a responsibility to implement appropriate actions to mitigate risks as necessary. We make every effort to reopen the road as soon as it is safe and practical to do so.”
As of today part of the road up to Emmagen Creek has been reopened, but the rest remains closed. Works continue.
A damaged section of the Bloomfield Track north of Emmagen Creek