WITHDRAWN: An artist's impression of the former proposed rooftop sign at 270 Bourbong St, Bundaberg West.
WITHDRAWN: An artist's impression of the former proposed rooftop sign at 270 Bourbong St, Bundaberg West. Contributed

Giant LED billboard application scrapped amid safety fears

A BILLBOARD company has abandoned its development application for a new rooftop sign in the Bundaberg CBD because of safety fears.

Recent concerns raised by the Queensland Government over the proposed billboard's impact on driver safety ended in Apex Digital Billboards withdrawing its application last week.

The original request was lodged last year and suggested that the 27sq m LED-lit billboard be erected on the roof of a two-storey brick building at 270 Bourbong St, Bundaberg West, about 800m from the main part of the CBD.

The flashing, digitalised sign, had it been approved, would have advertised content to passing southbound traffic on Hinkler Avenue and westbound traffic on Bourbong St.

Despite sitting on a state-controlled road (which requires the State Government to make a recommendation on the development), the final say on whether the proposed billboard went ahead always lay with Bundaberg Regional Council.

During its probe, the State Government said while the proposed location of the sign was acceptable, LED billboards were "designed to attract attention", resulting in unnecessary distractions for drivers.

A review of local crash data showed only two recorded collisions occurred near the intersection of the proposed development since 2012.

But in its recommendation to the council, the Department of Transport and Main Roads advised against approving the application and credited the relatively small number of crashes in the area on the "major changes" the intersection had undergone in previous years.

"The department would not like to see safety at this intersection, which has come at considerable financial cost, to be compromised by a proliferation of devices with a specific purpose of drawing driver's attention away from the road at key decision making point," the recommendation stated.

"The roadside environment at this intersection is already very busy, with many existing distractions for drivers."

In October the council asked for more time to complete its assessment and offered to extend the decision period, however, applicant Apex Digital threw the proposal out a short time after.

Apex Digital Billboards could not be reached for comment.