Date not set for highway upgrade

IT was astonishing the Rudd Labor Government admitted it has no date in mind for the completion of the four-laning of the Bruce Highway between Cooroy and Curra, Member for Wide Bay Warren Truss said yesterday.

Mr Truss’ comments followed a statement by a spokesperson for Federal Transport Minister Anthony Albanese earlier this week that it was “impossible” for the Minister to know how long it would take to upgrade the 61 kilometre section to four lanes.

“We knew that Mr Albanese had so far refused to make a commitment to the full project,” Mr Truss said. “We did not know that he does not even have a schedule in mind for the completion of the project.

“Minister Albanese is capable of regularly trotting out press releases providing updates about progress of the realignment of the road around the non-existent Traveston Crossing dam, so why can he not tell us when the full Cooroy to Curra project will be finished?”

Mr Truss said the former Coalition Government had committed to completing the four-laning of the highway between Cooroy and Curra and the bypass around Gympie by 2020.

“The Cooroy to Curra section is one of the deadliest parts of the highway. It connects the Sunshine, Cooloola and Fraser coasts to Brisbane and other northern towns and communities, but the Rudd Labor Government has no plan to fix it,” he said.

“It is clear that interest in the Bruce Highway has only extended as far as skirting Bligh Labor’s Traveston Crossing dam.

“Even with this project, it is not delivering the road in the best and most cost effective way.

“The Rudd and Bligh Labor governments refused to listen to the people and now we are to be stuck with a route that is longer and more expensive than the community’s preferred option.

“The government has had long enough now to schedule the funding for the full construction of the Cooroy to Curra section,” he said.

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