Road to Collinsville

Whitsunday Times - - WHITSUNDAY VIEWS -

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

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