Mother storms bypass event in desperate bid for answers
A TOOWOOMBA mother was forced to confront the head of Toowoomba Second Range Crossing contractor Nexus Infrastructure in a desperate bid for answers after months of internal wrangling.
Blue Mountain Heights resident Rhonda Miles yesterday seized the chance to get answers about the emergency access plan for the New England Hwy during blasting.
Less than an hour before the 11am press conference, Mrs Miles' drug-resistant epileptic son Lachlan had been rushed to Toowoomba Hospital along the same highway she holds concerns about.
Nexus Infrastructure CEO John Hagan, responding to pressure for the consortium to release the plan at Mrs Miles' behest, said there was a plan in place - yet to be approved - which would not hamper emergency response times.
"Nexus has been working in concert with emergency services … to develop an emergency management plan to ensure that the traffic on the New England Hwy, when impacted by operations, ensures unimpeded emergency access for everyone north," Mr Hagan said.
"The police actually run the exclusion zone so we will be monitoring both the ambulance services as well as using SMS and various other primary and secondary means of communication to ensure that we have that (access)."
Visual spotters would be stationed north and south of the zone to back up the communication system, and Nexus anticipated little, if any, debris to fall on the highway.
He said a diversionary road added to response times, and remained confident in the developed plan.
After the announcement, Mrs Miles said she welcomed the impending release of the emergency management plan which her family would review and provide input on.
"If we're unsatisfied, we will move Lachlan south (of the blasting zone) … for his own safety but we feel for the general public who don't know they need a 000 call until they ring it," she said.
"But we also will be asking Nexus and Transport and Main Roads to pick up the cost of that relocation.
"We don't think it's fair to put the public in this position and certainly we're not prepared to put Lachlan in that position."
She reiterated her calls for a diversionary road for emergency services.
Blasting for the cutting is likely to begin in October.
The emergency access plan is yet to be signed off by contractors and more community consultation will be undertaken.