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The ancestor of every action is a thought
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Eastern By Pass

If you want to sell something, first give it a name that excites or doesn’t sound negative. By-pass sounds negative, ‘ring road’ that doesn’t sound as negative.

Secondly sell the benefits; a truckie confronted with 17 sets of traffic lights isn’t going to win over the majority. Job creation should though; proving long term sustained job creation, not just a billion dollar sugar hit.

If, and at the moment it sounds a very big if, a ring road is to be built around Rockhampton why does it have to be on the west side? Is there any reason other than a straight line between Cairns and Melbourne would go west of Rockhampton. Wouldn’t East offer more benefits?

A few years back I suggested a ring road (and northern rail line) that leaves the southern highway around Gavial crossed a new bridge to Nerimbera, followed the existing Emu Park Road, then cut across to Cawarral following Artillery Road onto Greenlakes Road back onto the highway, be more advantageous to our region.

It could solve getting cattle to the meatworks (instead of the $10M band-aid taking them past Stockland), give the southern end of the Capricorn Coast direct highway access, take the trucks out of the city and despite being longer I think be a cheaper alternative considering the flood plain a large part of the western route needs to be built on (and the consequences of doing this).

Plus the region benefits from the jobs created in building the ring road, and sustained job creation as east offers more reasons for travellers to stop and explore than west. Emu Park, Zilzie and Keppel Sands would arguably benefit tremendously (think how easy the Capricorn Highway access would be). Rockhampton arguably would be less disadvantaged also. Even the rail passengers continuing on will get a more scenic, memorable, impression of the region, which may encourage them to stop another time.

This eastern alternative will not have universal appeal (nor does the western one), however why can’t it be part of the discussion.

If a Rookwood like business case was to be done for a Rockhampton ring road, then an eastern by-pass appears to offer a better economic return for the region than west.

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