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A rough plan of what extending Goodwood Street to the Townsend industrial area would look like.

Build a road and they will come

A rough plan of what extending Goodwood Street to the Townsend industrial area would look like.
A rough plan of what extending Goodwood Street to the Townsend industrial area would look like.

The Maclean Chamber of Commerce is aiming to gain support for a concept it says will ensure the growth of the industrial area at Townsend.
The chamber’s secretary, Peter Gordon, pitched the idea to federal members for Page and Cowper, Kevin Hogan and Luke Hartsuyker, at a breakfast meeting held at the Maclean Hotel on Wednesday November 4.
A key part of the chamber’s plan would see Goodwood Street and other unmade road reserve upgraded; and the creation of a roundabout at Brooms Head Road at the north western edge of the lawn cemetery, which is adjacent to the industrial area.
This would link to the current plan for the highway upgrade, which includes a roundabout link to Goodwood Street at the proposed Ferry Park interchange – Goodwood Street currently consists of gravel road and unformed road reserve.
The chamber is also proposing a new crossing of the river to Woodford Island from the interchange’s western roundabout.
Mr Gordon said the chamber will engage a draughtsman to draw plans for the idea, which, once gaining support from the chamber’s membership, would be advocated to the federal members.
“Once we know what we can get and what we can do, we’ll go to the state member [Chris Gulaptis], get him on board and then we’ll go to the council,” he said.
At the breakfast meeting, Mr Hogan emphasised that the chamber would need “to get all three levels of government” to support the concept.
Local trucking operator, Graeme Nicholson, said utilising Goodwood Road would “get the heavy vehicle traffic out of [the Townsend] residential area”.
At the present time heavy vehicles access the industrial estate via Jubilee Street; the highway upgrade plans show that this will still be the case, via the eastern side of the interchange, once completed.
“We want the industrial area to grow,” Mr Nicholson said. “The best way to do that is to have the right infrastructure in place to attract businesses to the industrial area.”
He cited the development of an industrial area at Albury, following a highway upgrade, among others he has seen.
“The new bypass went through Albury – I drove on the bypass three days after it was open and there was not a thing there; now you cannot see the horizon for sheds.
“It’s grown because of direct access, straight off the highway.
“If someone ever comes here and wants to set up a 24/7 operation [if the idea is built], they’re not going to be knocked back because of truck traffic through a residential area.
“As it grows, you’re going to have, hopefully, more employment; more people will build houses, more people will have cars, they’ll all travel on these roads.”
He said the chamber had held favourable discussions with the Gulmarrad rural fire brigade, which is located on Brooms Head Road
“The fire brigade is a first responder to crashes on the highway,” Mr Nicholson said; “they agree that this will give them better access to the highway.”
He said the cost of the road’s construction would be reduced because it could be built to a “1:5 flood level, because there’s access to the highway on Jubilee Street, which is a 1:20 flood level road”.
With travel times substantially reduced once the highway upgrade is completed to the Queensland border, Mr Nicholson gave an example of potential benefits.
“Warehouse space in Brisbane is at a premium, because it has outgrown itself, as far as finding anywhere to do things like unpacking containers, putting it on pallets and sending it out.
“At the moment they take containers from Brisbane right out to Ipswich, Gatton and even Toowoomba to unpack them.
“It could come here, we’re already half way to Sydney, and we’re only 17 hours to Melbourne.”
“We don’t know how much the road [to the industrial estate] will cost, but the economic benefits to the whole Maclean community would be untold … the estate could grow and we would attract other businesses.
“This will be the only industrial estate between Tweed Heads and Coffs Harbour that would have b-double access.”
Mr Gordon said building a new bridge to Woodford Island would reduce wear and tear of the historic McFarlane Bridge.
“It would be just one more bridge among 40 on the highway,” he said. “It would get trucks out of suburbia in Maclean and service the sugar cane industry.”