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Locals demand dust relief until council makes good with road sealing

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Residents are concerned about dust, which they liken to cement powder, being thrown up from gravel roads at Eudlo following work a few months ago.

Dust from Logwoods Road and Perrins Road has been a problem for years for residents who have campaigned to have both roads sealed.

While part of Logwoods Road has been sealed, they say the dust problem is worse than ever on the remaining gravel section since material laid by a contractor earlier this year to stabilise the road surface dried out.

More than $900,000 has been allocated in the current Sunshine Coast Council budget to seal the gravel stretch, with work due to start in October.

The council is “looking forward” to the work, which it anticipates will “reduce dust in the area”.

However, that has given the locals little comfort while they deal with the dust, which some fear contains silica because of its fine, cement-like particles, although the council maintains it is a “widely used road base mix”.

Ingrid McAlister, who has lived on Logwoods Road for 10 years, said the dust was so bad that her children were sneezing and horses were coughing.

Logwoods Road and Perrins Road residents want council attention on dust issues.

“When they laid it, it was so fine – it was a talcum or cement mix,” she said.

“It’s a great stabiliser if it’s wetted continually for a very long time so the cement can bind with the water, which never happened,” she said.

Colin Slark said he and his wife, Marilyn, no longer opened their windows because of the dust, and said they were not the only ones.

“The road surface is great but the dust that comes off it, I don’t know what it is but it’s very fine and just spreads,” he said.

“You feel like it shouldn’t be breathed in.”

The Slarks said the road was used by many vehicles, including trucks and buses, because a rail bridge on nearby Highlands Road was too low.

Mrs Slark said some dust was to be expected when living in the country but “not the amount of very fine dust that just hangs around for some time”.

A council spokesperson said a widely used road base for gravel roads was laid recently, making the ground firmer and safer for travel.

They said work to seal Logwoods Road, between Mossy Bank and Perrins roads, was due to start in late October and was expected to be completed by April.

Perrins Road, like Logwoods Road, is a source of dust problems for residents.

“This upgrade will also include new stormwater culverts for better flood protection,” the spokesperson said.

“We look forward to delivering this much-needed project and we will keep our community informed before works start.

“The new sealing works will help reduce dust in the area, improving the local environment.”

Pam Miller, who has lived on Perrins Road, off Logwoods Road, for more than 40 years, said the dust on both roads had been a battle for most of that time but was worse since a rock mixture was used on them.

Mrs Miller said the front windows of a house on her property had not been opened, except for cleaning, in the 30 years since it had been built, and horses in the front paddock were often caked with dust.

“They promised in 2017 that they were going to bitumen the road and what have they done? Nothing,” she said.

Ms McAlister said when she bought her property, a schedule showed Logwoods Road was to be sealed three or four years later but that had been pushed back.

Residents say their requests to the council for water trucks to wet the dust down have been met with replies that there is no money to do so.

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