SMALL TOWNS ‘ABAN­DONED’

Mary­vale ratepay­ers say com­mu­ni­ties are be­ing ne­glected

Warwick Daily News - - FRONT PAGE - So­phie Lester

IN 2007, Bris­bane school teacher David Bowen bought a home in Mary­vale to es­cape to on week­ends.

Mr Bowen joined Mary­vale Progress As­so­ci­a­tion when it was formed to lobby for bet­ter coun­cil road main­te­nance in the small town.

Ten years on, he has left the as­so­ci­a­tion and says he is frus­trated by a lack of at­ten­tion to the town from South­ern Downs Re­gional Coun­cil.

“I would not ex­pect the same level of ser­vice as in Bris­bane, but we should have more than a sin­gle foot­path be­tween the pub

and the school,” Mr Bowen said.

“We do not seem to get a thing out of the up to $6000 in rates we pay,” he said.

“It is time now the coun­cil starts putting money back into area, but they are un­in­ter­ested in Mary­vale – they do not want to lis­ten.”

Mr Bowen’s con­cerns are echoed by neigh­bour Kathy Ro­hweder, who also moved to Coxen St East 10 years ago af­ter al­most two decades in Stan­thorpe.

“Like David, I am to­tally frus­trated we’re not get­ting any re­turns for the rates we’ve been pay­ing,” Ms Ro­hweder said.

“We were told in Novem­ber the grass along our street would not be mowed be­cause it was on an un­sealed road and it was last graded in Jan­uary 2015,” she said.

“You can’t walk along the side of the road be­cause the grass is too long, and driv­ers can’t see any­thing com­ing.

“We do not ex­pect sealed roads but safe, all-weather roads.

“I can un­der­stand the coun­cil has a debt to clear, but it can­not be at the detri­ment to ratepay­ers.”

How­ever, Mayor Tracy Do­bie said the coun­cil was all ears.

“We have had a num­ber of meet­ings with the Mary­vale Progress As­so­ci­a­tion,” Cr Do­bie said.

“The is­sues they have raised are mainly to do with im­prov­ing roads and drainage around Mary­vale,” she said.

“One of the is­sues we see from the coun­cil per­spec­tive is that you buy a property on dirt road, you should not ex­pect the same level of main­te­nance as on a bi­tu­men road.

“At this stage on av­er­age, Mary­vale res­i­dents would be pay­ing among the low­est rates in the whole of the re­gion.

“In some cases, peo­ple have a high ex­pec­ta­tion of what their rates can buy, and the ser­vices be­ing pro­vided to Mary­vale likely ex­ceed the to­tal rates be­ing paid.

“We ac­knowl­edge Mary­vale is grow­ing, but there has to be a cer­tain level of traf­fic be­fore we con­sider mak­ing it a bi­tu­men road.”

The ser­vices be­ing pro­vided to Mary­vale likely ex­ceed the to­tal rates be­ing paid

— Mayor Tracy Do­bie

PHOTO: SO­PHIE LESTER

FED UP: Mary­vale res­i­dents Kathy Ro­hweder and David Bowen are frus­trated by what they say is in­ac­tion from South­ern Downs Re­gional Coun­cil to help main­tain roads in the town.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.