Moree Plains Shire Council to conduct further discussion and investigation regarding closure of Backspear Road

Moree Plains Shire Council (MPSC) has resolved to hold off on a decision on whether to close Backspear Road at its Ordinary Council Meeting last night, with more deliberation between all concerned parties required.

The road is situated just off the Newell Highway around 70 kilometres from Moree, with the road also entering the Gwydir Shire.

The request to close the road was initially made by two adjacent landowners, due to heavy usage deteriorating its condition, the dust from increased traffic and a number of cases of theft.

Blackspear Road property owner Shane Boardman spoke in favour of the closure at the meeting.

"More than half of the 7.2 kilometres of Blackspear Road is black soil. We ask that it be returned to a private access," Mr Boardman said.

"It's in desperate need of repair. There's daily dust, theft in the sheds, black soil destroyed in bad weather.

"Since the Gwydir Shire Council has declared no further repair, we wish to undertake the repair of gravel ourselves."


MPSC director of engineering services Ian Dinham expressed three main concerns with closing the road.

"The main problem is the alternative route, Kirewa Road, to upgrade that to a suitable standard would be a significant amount of money," Mr Dinham said.

"Importantly there are environmental concerns.

"Council has a long list of roads which need upgrading or improvement, 2700km that people would all like to see work done on."

MPSC projects and development manager Lila Fisher suggested that Council could agree to the closure pending an upgrade to Kirewa Road, which would come down to available funding.

At the meeting, Council resolved to defer the report until further investigation and engagement with the adjoining owners and frequent users of Backspear Road, with a report to be brought back to a future meeting within six months, while also bringing in the local member for the Northern Tablelands and Gwydir Shire Council into the discussion.