Mayor takes aim at Cahill for opposing bypass deal
MAYOR Paul Antonio has taken aim at Cr Bill Cahill over his opposition to an agreement which would provide inner-city access to the Toowoomba Second Range Crossing.
Council met in confidential on Thursday to discuss the agreement which would see the state and federal governments provide up to $40million to build connections to the bypass from Mort and Boundary Sts.
Cr Antonio said the intersections were vital to providing connectivity between Toowoomba's high-growth northern suburbs and the Toowoomba Second Range Crossing.
He is concerned a decision by Cr Cahill not to vote on the matter due to a "lack of consultation" could jeopardise the agreement.
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Cr Antonio said a contract involving Toowoomba Regional Council, the State Government and Nexus - the consortium chosen to build the bypass - could be signed within days.
He said it was imperative that council worked quickly and efficiently to lock in the intersection funding to ensure Toowoomba residents were not disadvantaged once the bypass opened.
Cr Antonio said the interchanges were expensive and that if no agreement was signed it could cost the community up to $40 million.
"It's an offer we can't refuse," he said.
Cr Antonio said he was frustrated by Cr Cahill's opposition.
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"The suggestion that we not sign this agreement and put the project in jeopardy, I find to be repulsive," he said.
Cr Cahill said there was not enough information for him to be comfortable with supporting the agreement.
"I was unclear about the extent or amount of information up front - to feel comfortable about what the likely impacts will be of the Mort St and Boundary St intersections on the immediate community and future traffic issues that may or may not eventuate as traffic connects from the north," he said.
He defended his vote saying he acted on his conscience.
Cr Anne Glasheen declared a material personal interest as she holds shares in Transfield Service, a sub-contractor of Nexus.
Cr Antonio said community consultation would ramp up later this year.
He said he was proud that the council had been involved in the process from the beginning.
"Senior staff members have been engaged with Projects Queensland on this whole journey," Cr Antonio said.
"As a result of that we have some particularly good outcomes for the Toowoomba region.
"It's different to what the Lockyer Valley Regional Council has done. They've been antagonistic ... and that makes a profound difference to the outcomes."