Gympie demans action: Brendan Blatchly, petition in hand, at the Matilda intersection at Kybong yesterday. Mr Blatchly says he was overwhelmed by public support for his petition to upgrade the highway turn-off.
Gympie demans action: Brendan Blatchly, petition in hand, at the Matilda intersection at Kybong yesterday. Mr Blatchly says he was overwhelmed by public support for his petition to upgrade the highway turn-off. Renee Pilcher

Locals call for immediate action

A HUGE proportion of Gympie people want immediate action to prevent further death, injury and damage at the notorious Matilda intersection at Kybong, according to the experience of one concerned truck driver.

Brendan Blatchly says he spends “90 per cent of my life driving this highway” and yesterday he used some of the other 10 per cent to help launch a campaign to get the intersection immediately reviewed.

“I think they need traffic lights there,” he said yesterday, acknowledging that many would be surprised to hear a truck driver advocating more red lights.

Mr Blatchly is collecting petition signatures and was overwhelmed by the massive support he received in Gympie yesterday afternoon.

“NO truck driver wants to be involved in an incident and the last thing anyone wants is to be involved in a fatality,” Brendan Blatchly said in Gympie yesterday.

And his experience gathering signatures in Mary Street yesterday shows we share his concerns, with bells on.

“I parked at the top end of Mary Street and had seven signatures before I reached the Post Office,” he said.

“I’ve walked down only one side of Mary Street and I’ve got 350 signatures, with only one person disagreeing with me for being a ‘do-gooder’.

“I’m amazed,” he said.

Mr Blatchly has teamed up with his old mate Michael Hogg, who started the truck driving website, Oztruckintv, a couple of years ago as an industry online magazine, predominantly covering safety issues.

“Michael’s got time off too, because his truck burned down, so we’re coming back to Gympie (today) and we’ll be here until Wednesday. I used to drive locally and I know from my own experience that the Matilda intersection has been a problem since Day Dot.

“Politicians may say there haven’t been any deaths there until the weekend before last, but what about all the non-fatal crashes? Even the property damage would quickly equal the cost of putting in traffic lights.”

Gympie Times


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