Road to Collinsville
IN THE Guardian of March 16, the old chestnut of a road to Collinsville pops up again under the heading of Road to Collinsville a win/win proposal.
I first heard the proposal over 50 years ago when Collinsville, Proserpine and Bowen had a lot more common interests.
We have to face the facts that a lot of small towns are declining in population and job opportunities, a lot to do with ease of travel to bigger centres, and especially those towns that de- pend on a finite resource such as coal etcetera.
At a commencing cost of $7 million per kilometre, per lane which will rise as work progresses, and given at least three to five years from the decision to commence to completion, this road could be built to nowhere for more than $700 million.
Collinsville can’t keep its aged care facility open and will close soon. Mothers must come to Proserpine to have their babies as their hospital cannot facilitate births.
Geographically, Collinsville is in a bad place. As stated in the article it lost 25% of its population in the five years up to 2011.
On the other hand the gold mining town of Charters Towers went from 52,000 to today’s 8000, (84% of its population) exists today because of its boarding schools, aged care facility and it being a major centre on the main thoroughfare west to Mt Isa and all in between.
I like the people of Collinsville, but building them a billion dollar short cut to Mackay won’t help the town prosper.
Peter Lewis Proserpine