NO MORE? Melissa Lyfield and Andrew Yarrow at a former Boonah State High formal parade, which may not be held in future due to additional costs.
NO MORE? Melissa Lyfield and Andrew Yarrow at a former Boonah State High formal parade, which may not be held in future due to additional costs. Nick O'Sullivan

Changes to road rules pose threat to community

NEW traffic compliance rules could mean the end of iconic community events in the close-knit town of Boonah.

Traditional street parades like the annual school formal, Anzac Day or the SPAR Arts Festival could now leave organisers anywhere between $2000-$3000 out of pocket and may force some to stop for good, says outraged Scenic Rim councillor Rick Stanfield.

"We've been doing this safely for decades and now we have to get a piece of paper, have a management plan and, as our engineers estimate, pay thousands of dollars for each community event. What can you say, it just beggars belief," he said.

"I just throw my hands in the air and say, someone needs to rethink this."

The Department of Transport and Main Roads recently made a decision to adopt Australian Standard AS1742 Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) as part of national harmonisation.

The new rules aim to create a national standard at roadworks that is the same Australia-wide.


Cr Rick Stanfield is preparing for the annual Clydesdale Spectacular in June.
Cr Rick Stanfield says the costs will put a stop to a number of community events. Inga Williams

Prior to the changes, SES officers and community volunteers have successfully controlled pedestrians and traffic when Boonah's streets are closed off for events.

Now, Cr Stanfield said, the manual changes would require professional, accredited traffic controllers to work every event where a street is closed off and to be paid for their work, meaning organisers of events would be forced to pay thousands.

"Compliance is stagnating our country. If we had been having a problem before I would understand but there is no logic to this," he said.

"Council will look at its main events and will make a decision on how this will affect its bottom line but other (community groups) won't be able to afford it.

"The community has not been consulted. Law makers need to come here and see what impact things like this have on a small town like Boonah. I think we could team them a few lessons."

Member for Beaudesert Jon Krause has already registered his opposition to what he describes is a "insulting" changes.

"I'm completely opposed to the changes. They pose a devastating impact for local government and community groups," he said.

"For the State Government to say we need paid traffic controllers at these events which have been managed safety for years or even generations is an insult to this community and its traditions."

The Department of Transport website states that "harmonisation will be carried out in stages and is anticipated to be completed by mid-2018".

Mr Krause has called for the State Government to reconsider the changes before then.

"It's a tax on the spirit of this community. It's a tax on Anzac Day, it's a tax on the formal parade and on Christmas celebrations," he said.

"I've registered my concerns with the Minister for Main Roads and have asked him urgently to consider getting local government and community groups' perspectives on this."