Despite it being cool outside, it was anything but cool inside where a spirited discussion took place attended by a good crowd including several disgruntled residents only too ready to voice their concerns.
Hannah Richardson from the Sunshine Coast Council presented the results of several ‘tube’ counters set up along Indigo Rd in the few weeks following the recent accident where a young child ran out in front of a truck and was severely injured.
With reports of numerous speeding incidents along Indigo Rd, the tube counter results indicated the opposite when compared on average across the region. There will always be speeding motorists, drivers who openly defy the speed limit. Tube counter figures indicated that 85% of drivers along Indigo Rd are within the speed limit and travel at an average speed of around 39kph. This means there are 15% of drivers who wantonly ignore the speed limit. Regretfully this is ‘average’ for tube counter results across the Sunshine Coast.
Road design followups indicated that the roads in question met all requirements and were within all State Government requirements.
Several residents did not agree and cited occasions when larger trucks experienced difficulty maneuvering around tight bends, especially the Indigo Rd/Bells Reach Blvd intersection. It was explained that these intersections are within regulations and that the newly introduced traffic islands are designed to slow vehicles down and thus help make the area safer for all. Many trucks and cars can make this turn safely by slowing down and taking care as they complete the turn.
Neither road design nor traffic signs will stop some drivers speeding, using their phones, or driving irresponsibly.
There is a range of strategies which can be employed by residents and these will be further investigated by BeCA, Council and Stockland. These include stickers for rubbish bins, programs for parents to explore with their children and programs for schools. One program for schools is the “Road Safety Matters” program and more details can be found here. For Home Activities, check here.
One parent asked for suggestions from the floor on what can done to improve safety around the estate.
Greg Osborne from Queensland Police requested that residents who note inappropriate driving behaviour which endangers public safety should report this behaviour via the Police Link phone number 13144. Footage of an incident taken on a mobile phone or even a registration number can provide some extra information police need for follow up action. A verbal report that a motorist was speeding along Indigo Rd may not be enough for police to prosecute, but several such reports of the one motorist can be enough to provoke a police visit.
Unity College P & F President, Peter Baxter, provided a time line for the introduction of a supervised crossing outside the school. It was a long and patient process. Unity College has been investigating a second supervised crossing at the Bells Reach Blvd/Bellvista Blvd roundabout and has been told that approval could be expected in the next round of funding.
Local MP Mark McArdle spoke strongly and incisively about the situation. He summed the situation up as a four pronged issue. If all four were addressed, there would be much improved road safety for all.
- Roads needed to be designed safely and within all government planning regulations.
- Driver behaviour had to be such that drivers obeyed the road laws and behaved responsibly and attentively.
- Parents have a responsibility to fully educate their children on basic road safety and safety outdoors. How many people (children and adults) do we see who are riding their bike or skateboard and not wearing a helmet?
- Schools provide effective follow up with Road Safety programs for students.
When all four points are observed, road safety is improved for everyone.
BeCA thanked all the parties involved for their participation in the meeting.
Peter Hovey, from the Australian Bureau of Statistics spoke on the upcoming Census Night due for August 9th. This year it is expected that 65% of all Census returns will be made ‘online’, up from around 30% last time. Most areas will receive a letter informing them of the upcoming Census. The letter will ask residents to choose between completing the Census online or via a form. Those wishing a form will be forwarded one after they make a request.
An ‘arbitrary’ line has been drawn through our area and Bells Reach has been included with other communities to the south such as Bells Creek etc. These people will receive a Census form but will still have the option of completing the Census online if they wish.
The Census will count every resident in a dwelling any where in Australia on August 9th. The figures will be used by Government, Local Councils and businesses to better plan for the future.
Some interesting facts for the Sunshine Coast arising from the last census showed that almost 60% of Coast residents were aged 50 or more, 20% had been born overseas, that German is the second language behind English and that 13% of dwellings here are ‘unoccupied”. This high unoccupied rate is probably due to there being a large holiday rental market here.
Peter explained how accurate the information provided by the population was and he said that Bureau of statistics follow up indicated an accuracy rate of around 97%, excellent when compared with other like countries.
The meeting came to a conclusion soon after 8:30pm and the President thanked all for attending. Several attendees followed up with presenters to discuss issues. Others enjoyed a warm drink and shared views.