Protester fights new bridge plans
A CONSERVATIONIST has vowed to fight “tooth and nail” against any plans for a Burrum River bridge, despite only three people turning up to a protest meeting at Woodgate yesterday.
David Wieland was at Buxton on Friday when an announcement was made for $100,000 in funding into a pre-feasibility study for a bridge that could cut travel time between Bundaberg and Hervey Bay by up to 45 minutes.
Mr Wieland reiterated his vehement opposition to the proposal at yesterday's meeting and demanded any such money be put to a more conservation-based cause.
But his crusade may be even tougher than first thought. The three who did turn up yesterday voiced support for the idea.
Woodgate business owners Terry Byers and Rose McKeown not only want the bridge, they want it built sooner rather than later.
Mr Byers, the owner of the Woodgate Beach Hotel Motel, said Woodgate was going backwards.
“The sooner we build the bridge the better,” he said.
“We've lost the butcher, the baker and the restaurant – we need the infrastructure.
“We need it so badly.”
Mrs McKeown, who owns the Woodgate Beach General Store, said local businesses had to survive on tourists.
“We can't survive on locals alone,” she said.
“Go for it, I want the bridge.
“Look at this beautiful beach, we want to share it.”
Mr Wieland declared the business owners had a vested interest in the construction of a bridge, while his stance was a conscience vote.
“I'll fight it (the bridge proposal) tooth and nail, 100 per cent,” he said.
“That money could be better used for things like fixing up the roads or providing better community facilities.”
Woodgate Pacific Realty principal Graham White also welcomed the proposal, but did not want to see the national park disturbed.
Member for Hinkler Paul Neville, who made the election pledge last Friday, said a study could examine sites between Buxton and Burrum Heads.