ISLAND ROADS and NBN ON ITS WAY
10K OF ISLAND ROADS TO BE SEALED THIS FINANCIAL YEAR
With the start of the new financial year, the island road sealing program is to be magnified considerably.
Up until last financial year, only around 1km of road per year was being constructed on our islands at a cost of around $1 million per kilometre.
This coming financial year, council will carry out about 10km of road sealing on Russell and Macleay Islands, for the same amount of money - a huge increase and cost saving.
Cr Mark Edwards, after two years of lobbying, got Redland City Council last year to trial a new road sealing method that has resulted in major savings.
Earlier this year the new road sealing program was initiated under last year’s budget with around 12 roads on Macleay, eight on Lamb and five on Russell being sealed utilising the new method.
The road sealing technique is based on the application of x2 bitumen seals to largely existing island roads, with just minor preparatory grading.
Prior to this process being adopted, council used its overall road construction method for all roads throughout the Redlands.
This involved the complete removal and re-building of road foundations and surfaces at huge time and cost.
Cr Edwards, following advice from Russell Island engineer, John Clissold, convinced council to try the x2 road sealing method for island roads.
It has been an outstanding success.
“It is unnecessary to have the same level of road construction on the islands given the different levels in island traffic. Some of our roads would have just a few movement a day on them,” he said.
The new road sealing program for 2015-16 is yet to be finalised.
Cr Edwards will release the schedule in the coming weeks.
The works do not include a special trial that will be see a new emulsion method utilised that adds a new type of emulsion seal to existing road surfaces.
“We shall be interested in the results of this trial because further savings and an increased road sealing program could result,” Cr Edwards said.
NBN ON ITS WAY TO ISLANDS - EVENTUALLY!
The Bay Islands could have NBN internet connection in about two years.
An enquiry to the NBN by The Friendly Bay Islander asked where we are in the scheme of things when it comes to the roll out of the high performance internet connection service.
NBN Co spokesperson, Matt Horan, responded to our enquiry, stating: “the NBN is at least 18 months away from beginning construction on any of your islands.
“We released the latest construction update last month, with the next one due in two months’ time. The island are not yet on the construction list.”
He continued: “The NBN Co in March announced an update to the national rollout plan which includes an indicative overview of the next 116,000 homes and business across Queensland set to receive the NBN.
“This is great news for the areas which have been added to our construction schedule as it means work to build the network is expected to be underway by September 2016.
“Understandably, families and business people in parts of Moreton Bay that do not appear on the latest update to the NBN rollout may be disappointed.
“While we would like to connect everyone at the same time, the nature and size of the country means the rollout of broadband infrastructure is completed in an efficient, systematic manner.
“This is why, in most cases, the NBN is being built out from areas where the rollout is already underway and where construction resources are already being deployed. As crews complete work in these areas the rollout then expands to adjacent towns and cities.
“Our goal is for every community in Australia to have access to fast broadband by 2020, and to access internet download speeds of 50mbps or more from their preferred phone and internet company.
“Fast broadband will open up opportunities for homes and businesses of the Bay Islands, helping to close the digital divide between the coastal and metropolitan cities.
“Everybody in Australia will be able to benefit from the NBN once the network is complete. We are working hard to do this as fast as possible. Ultimately, Moreton Bay will not miss out,” Matt Horan said.
The type of broadband to be introduced to the island is not, as yet, known.
The Government is using a number of technologies including existing, fibre, satellite and wireless.
The latter two are being used for some remote communities.
Matt Horan said: “We won’t know what system will be utilised until we begin the assessment process. Our engineers will assess the area and its existing infrastructure to see what will best suit, and be most cost effective.
“Our remit from Government is to use a range of technologies – all of which offer an upgrade path to faster speeds and greater amounts of bandwidth – and to be prudent with scarce taxpayers’ resources it can be delivered sooner than otherwise would be the case,” he added.