BORDER LINE: At the boundary between the North and South Burnett Mundubbera-Durong Rd changes from a two lane highway to a goat track. Photo Michael Nolan / South Burnett Times
BORDER LINE: At the boundary between the North and South Burnett Mundubbera-Durong Rd changes from a two lane highway to a goat track. Photo Michael Nolan / South Burnett Times Michael Nolan

Burnett’s road to ruin

DRIVERS navigating the South Burnett Regional Council Mundubbera-Durong stretch are battling flying rocks and smashed windows.

And locals fear it's only a matter of time before someone is seriously hurt.

Guse Transport Service's Mick Guse said the road became dangerous at the point where the two lanes became one.

"We have to drop one wheel off into the dirt, which means we're throwing rocks at oncoming traffic," Mr Guse said.

"Cars beep the horn and think our trucks are hogging the road.

"We've seen rocks hitting windows, car windows smashed, and cars pulling off the road and sliding out of control.

"The biggest concern when navigating the Mundubbera-Durong one-lane road is the danger."

But that's not the only issue.

The road's poor condition means Guse Transport Services and local motorists are facing higher costs to maintain their vehicles.

"We are paying around $1500 in maintenance per week," Mr Guse said.

"On top of the usual costs we face, we're looking at almost double because of the poor state of the road."

He said this wasn't just an issue for his company and other trucking companies, but for local drivers as well.

"It puts everyone on the road in real danger," Mr Guse said.

"We pay $125,000 in registration that's supposed to go into the funding of these roads, but we don't get a say in what they do with that money."

South Burnett Regional Council Mayor Wayne Kratzmann said Mundabbera-Durong Rd was a priority and he was in "full support" of any upgrades.

"It's a State Government-controlled road and we rely on state funding to do upgrades," he said.

Cr Kratzmann said the road was the traffic route from North Burnett down to the new airport and would now be under even more stress.

"It's becoming even more important now with the opening of the new Brisbane West Wellcamp Airport," he said.

More than $2.2million in state funding has been allocated to upgrading the South Burnett section of the Mundubbera-Durong Rd and is due to be finished before the end of the 2015 financial year, although no detailed construction schedule has been released.

North Burnett council's general manager of engineering and environmental services Brendan Pearce said his council made the decision to upgrade its side of the road six years ago.

"The North Burnett was able to convince the Bundaberg region of the need to upgrade the road, but the south wasn't as successful," Mr Pearce said.

He said the North Burnett lay within the Bundaberg region, but the South Burnett was separate and needed to convince the Toowoomba region of the need to upgrade.

North Burnett Regional Council received $110million from the Natural Disaster and Relief Federal fund following the 2013 floods, but this funding only allowed "like for like" repairs, Mr Pearce said.

This meant the South Burnett didn't have the option to upgrade its roads following the floods, only do restorations.

"It's up to the South Burnett to make a conscious decision to upgrade its side of the Mundabbera-Durong Rd," Mr Pearce said.

"I do travel 12km along the remaining single lane and it's dangerous when passing oncoming traffic.

"I don't like travelling on it."

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