More than 700 sign petition to seal dangerous road
A PETITION signed by more than 720 people has been presented to the council this week as the fight continues to upgrade one of the region's dangerous roads.
Mum of two Vicky McGrath lost her life on Beelbi Creek Rd earlier this month, sparking a campaign by five women who joined forces to fight to get the road fixed.
Beelbi Creek Rd is currently a gravel road, but Lisa Farrance, one of the women behind the fight, says it urgently needs to be covered with bitumen.
"This is an ongoing issue," she said.
"There have been too many accidents and near-misses.
"It's time to put a plan of action in place."
It comes as Councillor James Hansen presented a motion to the council to direct the CEO to provide a report on vehicle crashes on Beelbi Creek Road over the last five years and possible works to improve safety.
Just a few hundred metres from where Vicky died is a cross that is another sobering reminder of just how dangerous the road can be.
Michael Pickering was seriously injured in the crash on Beelbi Creek Road on November 29, 2015, when the ute he was driving left the road and crashed into a tree.
He died after spending two months in hospital.
Speaking to the Chronicle in the aftermath of the crash, Fraser Coast council chief executive Ken Diehm said the road would be considered for future upgrades.
"Any loss of life on our roads is a tragedy and the council extends its condolences to Ms McGrath's family and friends during this difficult time," Mr Diehm said.
"We understand the Queensland Police Service are investigating and we await their report and advice on what contributed to the accident.
"The Beelbi Creek Road is about 7.5km long, of which about 5.5km is unsealed.
"The road has low traffic volumes compared to many other gravel roads, but we are aware that many motorists use it as a short cut rather than use the safer bitumen roads nearby.
"As with all gravel roads, there are no speed limitations as motorists are required to drive according to the prevailing condition of the road.
"Beelbi Creek Road receives maintenance grading twice a year as part of the council's road maintenance program, while the two curves on the road have warning signage.
"The estimated cost to seal the road would be between $5 million and $6 million.
"While the council has no plans to seal Beelbi Creek Road under this year's budget, it will be listed for consideration in future budgets."
Official accident records for the last 10 years indicate eight crashes with two fatalities.