At the start of the current ongoing coal seam gas activity there was no arrangements in place for the repairs of roads. Narrow 4 metre bitumen road proved to be completely unsuitable for the amount of traffic experienced. Because when passing vehicles have to move at least in part off the bitumen, the sides got worn away, a drop down developed off the bitumen and then the edges of the bitumen would break away, narrowing the road further. On gravel and dirt roads the resource companies started to maintain the roads. For example the principle contractor for the QGC gas pipeline project, MCJV, would send a grader, water truck and roller up a road every fortnight. Some of these roads were maintained in a better condition than they ever had been before. Then without explanation to their ratepayers WDRC stopped resource projects maintaining roads. The meeting was told that the roads weren’t being graded in the correct manner. This received the very good reply of that council have specifications for their own staff to meet; why can’t these specifications be provided and overseen for work done by resource companies?
There are now agreements in place for resource companies to pay for damage to roads. The Qld Co-ordinator general has made directions to a process. The original traffic predications proved to be of little worth and WDRC now work on calculating actual damage to the road. There are problems with different resource companies using the same road pointing the finger at the other for being the culprit of inflicting damage. WDRC has received funds from QGC, Origin and Sunwater, having spent to date $28 million on repairs with an estimated $42 million required. Typical of how they operate, Powerlink are conspicuous by their absence with any dialog with WDRC to meet any repair bill.