Former Tiaro mayor Linda Harris says the community will see plans for Tiaro's survival in a post-bypass world in the new year.
Former Tiaro mayor Linda Harris says the community will see plans for Tiaro's survival in a post-bypass world in the new year.

TIARO BYPASS: Former mayor calls Bruce Hghwy ‘a parking lot’

A former Tiaro mayor who is working on a plan to ensure Tiaro survives the looming bypass, says something needs to be done about the "parking lot that is the Bruce Highway".

Linda Harris and the Community Working Group will produce a plan to help reinvent the town in a post-bypass world.

The main vision is ensuring no businesses will have to close.

While Mrs Harris said she can't disclose specifics, the group's plans include big ticket and small ticket items.

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"Particularly incentives to bring people off the highway … (make it) more appealing … like better parking, more RV parking in the town itself," she said.

"We've been begging for a dump point for a long time and we just feel if caravaners were able to come off the highway, have the dump point, and go further south, rather than trying to find one in Maryborough, Hervey Bay or Gympie, it would be attractive for people."

A Google Maps streetview of the Tiaro traffic lights on a very quiet day.
A Google Maps streetview of the Tiaro traffic lights on a very quiet day.

Mrs Harris said the community plan will go to public consultation early in the new year.

One current problem is the lack of warning signs alerting motorists to queued traffic at the lights outside the butcher.

"It's the parking lot we call the Bruce Highway," Mrs Harris said.

Local community boards have been flooded with residents asking why nothing is being done during busy periods.

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Gerard Kelly commented that traffic had been at a crawl from Bauple every day since Christmas Eve.

"How difficult would it be to put out signs before Pineapple Hill and Wilson's Rd advising of queued traffic ahead for starters, and employing some stop/go controllers to increase the time traffic can flow, and stop pedestrians hitting the button every two minutes?" Nicki Hutley wrote.

It was mentioned that the bypass would fix the issues, while another community member, Judith Roberts, believes traffic would still bank up.

TIARO BYPASS: Heavy traffic travelling through Tiaro. Picture: Stuart Fast
TIARO BYPASS: Heavy traffic travelling through Tiaro. Picture: Stuart Fast

"Overall, the community accepts that at some stage in the future the bypass will happen, but seeing as this is a new construction, it would be a lot more cost efficient to do four lanes rather than two now and two later," Mrs Harris added.

"But we all have to recognise that there is going to be life after the bypass.

"Some businesses will be heavily affected, others not so much.

"We've had life after amalgamation now we just have to address this."

Mrs Harris said the biggest challenge for their community plan may be to access the funding.

"I would believe in the new year the dollar is going to be strongly competed for.

"There will be less money for projects of this nature, so our community has to become more self-sufficient in designing, building and instituting changes within our capacity."



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