Rough roads for 'the price' paid

PEOPLE who buy land on unmaintained roads should accept that rough roads are the price they pay for cheaper land and consequently lower rates, Gympie Regional councillors said this week.

They were responding to complaints to this week's Works and Services Committee meeting about the state of Laurel, Boundary and MacPherson Roads, Veteran, including a threat to hold council responsible for accidents, injuries or damage caused by council's refusal to maintain the roads “in a safe and trafficable condition.”

“We will hold your council, its staff and councillors individually and severally liable due to “accidents that occur due to lack of maintenance” and “injury or damages incurred due to the inability of emergency service vehicles (to) access our properties that you levy rates on and have a legal responsibility to maintain because you accept rates from us, including amounts for road maintenance and infrastructure that you do not apply to our properties even in the most rudimentary form.”

Another letter complained about access problems on Laurel Road during floods.

Engineering director Bob Fredman said council had legal advice from King and Company that there was no legal mechanism to challenge rates on the assertion that they are unfair, rates being “a tax rather than a fee for service.”

Mayor Ron Dyne said it was unfortunate for people living on former forestry roads.

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