Mt Sylvia residents say if Main Roads does not do repair work to Mt Sylvia Road very soon they will have to fix it themselves so crops can be sent to buyers.
Mt Sylvia residents say if Main Roads does not do repair work to Mt Sylvia Road very soon they will have to fix it themselves so crops can be sent to buyers.

Farmers plan DIY road repair

LOCKYER Valley farmers fear they could be forced to rebuild a devastated road themselves in order to save their harvest and their livelihoods.

The road connecting Gatton with the communities of Mt Sylvia, Junction View, West Haldon and Black Duck was washed away on December 27.

Heavy rains last year ruined the area’s watermelon crop and farmers are saying they cannot afford to let another crop rot in the ground.

Mt Sylvia Fresh Vegetables owners Julia and Brian Crust said: “This is our business, our income and we have to get this produce out to the supermarkets, otherwise everyone loses out.

“We aren’t sure how we are going to get the produce out because no vehicle, unless it’s a small four-wheel-drive, can get out here, let alone a refrigerated produce truck.

“We still have to get our fuel, rubbish, fertiliser, gas and other service vehicles in yet, and we don’t know how we are going to do that either.”

Mrs Crust said several of the farmers in the affected region have contacted Main Roads since the December 27 rains caused initial damage and again following the downpour on January 10, but nothing had been done.

“The roads are a real mess and they are still no better than a goat track,” Mrs Crust said.

“We have broccoli and cauliflower planted for Coles in Victoria that will have to be harvested in five weeks’ time, and if Main Roads haven’t fixed it by then Brian will have to fix the road himself like he did after the floods in December.”

Lockyer Valley Regional Council Mayor Steve Jones said he had been approached by several concerned residents about damaged roads that fall under the Main Roads network.

“Council has spoken with Main Roads and discussed the necessity and importance that these roads, particularly Mt Sylvia Road, get repaired,” Councillor Jones said.

After inquiries by The QT, The Department of Main Roads last night said it was doing its best to repair damage in the Lockyer Valley and said it would meet with landholders and other government agencies later this week to discuss restoration works.



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