Proposed corridor for western alternative to Bruce Highway raises Moreton Bay resident concerns

Property owners in rural parts of Moreton Bay are concerned about the proposed route for an alternative road to the Bruce Highway, which may require resumptions of up to 85 properties.

On Thursday, the state government released the proposed corridor for stage two of the Bruce Highway Western Alternative, a planned but as yet unfunded 60-kilometre road between Brisbane and the Sunshine Coast.

The 16-kilometre stage would connect Narangba through rural properties to the planned site of Caboolture West, a city expected to house 70,000 people by 2060.

Transport Minister Mark Bailey on Thursday said the Western Alternative would be a critical pressure valve for the overburdened Bruce Highway and was needed to help Moreton Bay cope with a projected 656,000 population increase by 2041.

The proposed corridor for the Bruce Highway Western Alternative stage two.
The proposed corridor for the Bruce Highway Western Alternative stage two.(Supplied: TMR)

“We’ve already gazetted the first section there, from Moodlu and Morina,” Mr Bailey told ABC Radio Brisbane.

“What we’re talking about here – and what is out for consultation now — is the second stage, south of Moorina down to Narangba.”

Mr Bailey said when constructed, the road would unlock swathes of western Moreton Bay for more housing.

“It is years away … but we know the [residential] growth is very strong, and it can’t be too far away,” he said.

The proposed Western Alternative would become a critical link to the planned city of Caboolture West.
The proposed Western Alternative would become a critical link to the planned city of Caboolture West.(Supplied)

Eighty-five homeowners contacted

Narangba resident Nicole Stirling said many locals only found out about the planned road on social media.

She and her partner purchased their farm on a quiet rural road in December 2021, investing heavily in renovations before discovering that the proposed corridor now sits just 50 metres away.

Letters notifying about 85 residents that their properties could be directly impacted by the proposed corridor were sent out by Transport and Main Roads this week.

Ms Stirling said because their land is not “directly” impacted by resumptions, they received no notice.

Her neighbours across the road, whose properties are protected by Land for Wildlife designations, received letters from TMR this week.

“I don’t want to live next to construction that could go on for who knows how long, and I don’t want to live next to a highway that has thousands of cars going through,” Ms Stirling said.

“They don’t even have funding for the project yet, so this could drag on forever. At the moment, it’s very stressful, but it’s just going to keep popping up if we stay here.

“But I also can’t sell, because who is going to want to buy when they could potentially be buying next to a highway?”

Ms Stirling says residents are sceptical about a push for more housing in the area, noting much of the Narangba region — including parts of her own property — is mapped as floodplain and koala habitat.

She says residents are also concerned the Western Alternative will funnel more traffic down narrow country roads.

Narangba resident Mal Heath only recently discovered the proposed route is about 800 metres from his family’s 5-acre property, bought two years ago.

“I’ve been to several consultation meetings about stage two and when I’ve asked Transport and Main Roads and government representatives, their response was, ‘We don’t provide those details until it’s gazetted’,” he said.

“We may not have purchased there if this was highlighted to us. It probably would have been a different decision we wouldn’t have purchased there.”

Both Ms Stirling and Mr Heath say the state government should reconsider the route and investigate a wider bypass route through Dayboro or the western ranges into Brisbane to avoid floodplains, koala habitat and rural properties.

No imminent resumptions

A TMR spokesperson says there are no plans to start formal resumptions and planning is in its early stages.

“Property owners who are potentially impacted were the first to be notified — as it should be,” the spokesperson said.

“Potential resumptions would not be required for many years. Some of these potential requirements will only be for partial pieces of land.”

Public consultation will run until mid-February, with information sessions being held in Morayfield, Caboolture and Narangba.

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