LISTEN UP: Discovery Coast residents and tourists protested yesterday for construction to start on completing the walkway to Seventeen Seventy.
LISTEN UP: Discovery Coast residents and tourists protested yesterday for construction to start on completing the walkway to Seventeen Seventy. STSurfImages.com

Resident sick of seeing near misses, calls for pathway fix

MORE than 60 people rallied for the safety of residents and tourists at the beach communities of Agnes Water and Seventeen Seventy yesterday.

The protest at the SES Grounds was the latest attempt to show the Gladstone Regional Council the town is desperate for a fix to the "missing link" in the walkway between Agnes Water and Seventeen Seventy.

With the project set to be discussed during budget considerations within the next two weeks, all protest organiser James Lees can do is hope the councillors received their message.

Mr Lees, frustrated by witnessing near-misses involving cars and pedestrians or cyclists, said it was time the council fixed the ongoing safety issue.

"I'm hopeful that something will change, but the council promised it back in 2015 and nothing happened then," he said.

During the protest he encouraged attendees to send an email to every councillor this week, ahead of the verdict on if the project will be budgeted for.

The retiree, who built a home at Agnes Water 18 years ago, said additionally to making the commute between the two townships safer for walkers and cyclists, it would also benefit the region's tourism.

Gladstone Region acting mayor Chris Trevor said the project was delayed in 2015 because there were concerns the walkway would need to be redone when the Seventeen Seventy marina boat ramp was upgraded in 2020.

Cr Trevor told The Observer the council had done studies since then and found the walkway construction can go ahead without impacting the boat ramp.

"We didn't want to find ourselves in a situation where we would put the pathway down and two years later it would need to be ripped up in order to do the car park," he said.

"There's nothing more that ratepayers hate than seeing their money wasted."

He said councillors would vote on if the project should be included in the 2018 - 19 budget in coming weeks.

Cr Trevor would not confirm how he would vote, so he did not influence other councillors' decisions.