Wallace hits back on highway

THE State Government yesterday hit back at Opposition criticism of progress on the Bruce Highway upgrade from Sankeys Rd to Traveston Rd.

Opposition Parliamentary leader and Shadow Infrastructure Minister Jeff Seeney ignited the bloggers and the Government with an on-site media conference at Federal State School on Thursday.

Mr Wallace yesterday rejected Mr Seeney’s claim that the project was “only half-finished,” but then said it was passing “the half-way mark.”

Whether it is “only half done” or “already half-way there,” seemed to be the core of the disagreement.

Mr Seeney said a $250 million public investment in the upgrade’s Section B was now sitting idle and had done so for a year, forcing drivers to use a “dangerous” low-speed side track.

But Mr Wallace said the project had benefited from some time and cost savings and was “on time and under budget.”

It was a strange “glass half full or empty” moment in the debate, with Mr Wallace denying the project was only half done, saying it was “half way through”.

“It is not half finished, it is half way through the planned project,” he said.

Bloggers hit the keyboards in response, with some saying no party was in a position to criticise the other, at state or federal level.

Mr Wallace partly agreed.

“The former Howard Government spent $10 million on Cooroy to Curra and did not move one shovelful of dirt.

“We have spent $688 million and have moved five million square metres of earth,” he said.

“Section B (Sankey’s Rd to Traveston Rd) continues to power ahead with the first two construction contracts wrapping up in November 2010 on time and under budget.

“Construction is now underway on the final two major construction contracts.

“Section B has always been on track for completion in 2012,” he said.

Gympie Times

Topics:  bruce highway

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