Campaign to fix road sparks debate
LOCAL drivers think it’s time the Bruce Highway was upgraded from Cooroy to Curra – and so does the Coalition.
A new campaign was launched by federal LNP politicians this week to try and bring forward upgrade plans.
Shadow Minister for Infrastructure and Transport and Federal Member for Wide Bay, Warren Truss, and five other MPs met in Canberra to start the campaign.
Mr Truss said rapid traffic growth had left the highway “inadequate for current requirements”. Gympie Heavy Haulage truck driver Wayne Jeremy agreed but said the main focus of the upgrade should be the bypass past Gympie.
He said it was a “real bottle neck” coming in and out of Gympie and that frustrated drivers.
Mr Truss said there have been more than 50 fatalities and 300 people admitted to hospital since 2000 as a result of accidents along the dangerous Cooroy to Curra section of the Highway.
This isn’t news to the RACQ, calling it the worst stretch of national highway in Queensland. It has recently stepped up calls to improve the highway – so drivers don’t pay for mistakes with their lives.
Mr Truss said in spite of the highway’s “killer” reputation, the current government had failed to commit to upgrading the remaining 50 kilometres between Cooroy and Curra to a four lane standard. “The Government must get serious and announce a commitment to fund a full program of works to improve the safety and increase the capacity of the Highway,” Mr Truss said.
A spokesperson for Federal Infrastructure and Transport Minister Anthony Albanese said either the six LNP politicians had “no shame” or were “suffering from collective amnesia”.
“Let’s not forget that half of them – Truss, Entsch and Neville – were members of the former Howard Government which had 12 years to do something about this road, and chose to do very little, particularly when it came to the notorious Cooroy to Curra section. We’re investing an unprecedented $2.6 billion over six years,” he said.