Gelorup landowners frustrated over potential road through farms

A quiet life interrrupted: Gelorup farmers - Bradley Scott, Jock Mepham, Chris Scott, Anthony Prowse, Bronwyn Stewart and Christine Scott. Photo: Emily Sharp.
A quiet life interrrupted: Gelorup farmers - Bradley Scott, Jock Mepham, Chris Scott, Anthony Prowse, Bronwyn Stewart and Christine Scott. Photo: Emily Sharp.

A group of concerned Gelorup landowners have been left ‘blind-sighted and frustrated’ after being told the proposed Bunbury Outer Ring Road may run through their farms. 

Main Roads confirmed it was investigating alternative alignments for the southern section of the project as part of the environmental approval processes earlier this month.  

Jock Mepham and his partner Bronwyn Stewart bought property five years ago south of the proposed Bunbury Outer Ring Road. 

“Our lives have basically been put on hold, we can’t sell our properties, we can’t do nothing,” he said. 

“When we bought our block, one of the very first questions I asked the real estate was where will the road go and we got in the car and they showed me and I thought I will buy this block because it’s not going to impact me. 

“It’s great for these people to say Gelorup is going to be split in two, it was always going to be split in two – they bought the blocks with that information and bought the blocks discounted because of that.”

Main Roads representatives recently met with the potentially affected landowners, who were told an environmental impact study would be conducted in Spring before a decision was made. 

For Anthony Prowse, the decision could change the history of his farm, which has been in his family for more than 70 years.

"If they put a road in, how are we going to get from one side of our farm to the other?" he said.  

"The people living in Gelorup, they’ve known about this for 20 years, whereas us, we’ve only known for about five minutes and it’s quite stressful."

Chris Scott is in a similiar boat and said if the road cut through his farm, he and his family would be finished. 

“If we say ‘no’, they can resume the land anyway. If they want to put a road through, they will,” he said. 

“We live here for the lifestyle but also for our livelihood.”

Bunbury MLA Don Punch said Main Roads needed to work through the issues associated with the best environmental outcomes that could be achieved.