Governments point fingers over Gympie bypass delay
THE music continues to play in the Gympie Bypass game of pass the parcel, with State and Federal Governments pointing at each other over responsibility for the next step of the billion dollar project.
Now more than a year since funding for the road was announced, questions continue to swirl over when the detailed plans will be unveiled and when the work will be finished.
And the business case has been flagged by Transport and Main Roads as part of the hold-up.
"We cannot confirm time frames for construction until the business case has been approved,” a TMR spokeswoman said.
"The business case has been submitted to Infrastructure Australia and the Australian Government for consideration.
"We will present the final design for the new highway to the community at public displays once consultation with directly impacted property owners is complete, and we have received approval of the business case.”
However, Wide Bay MP Llew O'Brien disagreed the cause of the blockage was Federal.
"The Australian Government cannot dictate the capital works schedule for this project as it is being managed by the Queensland Government,” he said.
"The Palaszczuk-Trad Labor Government needs to work with Infrastructure Australia to have the evaluation of the business finalised.
"The Australian Government is ready to pay the Queensland Government once it has met delivery milestones.
"I secured $800 million to get it done and it's time bureaucrats sped the process up, released the designs, started the tender process and commenced construction,” Mr O'Brien said.
There are promising signs of life.
Pre-construction work has started on the route with houses, structures and sheds removed.
The TMR spokeswoman said this should be finished by mid year if the weather cooperates.
As to when people can look at the final plan?
"We will present the final design for the new highway to the community at public displays once consultation with directly impacted property owners is complete, and we have received approval of the business case.
"This corridor has not changed, however the design of highway elements have been refined.
"This final design is what will be released to the community at the displays.”