WE DID IT: Keith Pitt, Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack, The Gympie Times editor Shelley Strachan and Member for Wide Bay Llew O'Brien celebrate $800 million funding for Section D.
WE DID IT: Keith Pitt, Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack, The Gympie Times editor Shelley Strachan and Member for Wide Bay Llew O'Brien celebrate $800 million funding for Section D. Scott Kovacevic

Many dug deep to help secure vital Section D funding

"WE DID IT!”

Truer words couldn't occupy The Gympie Times front page after the announcement of the $800 million commitment by the Federal Government to construct Section D - the missing final stage of the Bruce Highway Cooroy to Curra upgrade.

As a community we've been living with the route for more than a decade.

As I do, many locals will remember consultation meetings displaying the proposed corridor at the Civic Centre in March of 2007. But no financial commitment for construction has ever been made - until now.

I acknowledge everyone who helped me to secure funding for this vital project, which will now become a reality. That includes members of state and federal parliament from across the political spectrum.

My view is that when it comes to saving lives party politics can take a jump because...WE DID IT!

The Gympie Times editor Shelley Strachan and her predecessors Michael Roser, Nev McHarg and Craig Warhurst led this newspaper's campaign for a safer highway through Wide Bay over decades.

Shelley also established an e-petition calling for funding to fast track the construction of Section D.

The petition attracted 1252 signatures and I'm pleased to confirm that with the co-operation of the Queensland Government, it is possible that construction on the new 26 kilometre alignment from Woondum to Curra could start by the end of this year.

Thank you to the people who contributed to a special book, The Case for Cooroy to Curra Section D, which I presented to the Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack and Treasurer Scott Morrison.

The report from Scott Rowe and letters from Sgt Steve Webb, Michael Roser, Neville McHarg, Craig Warhurst, Shelley Strachan and Carlie Walker were vital.

I especially thank the people who dug deep to share a very sad and traumatic piece of their history that involved the killer highway. These people contributed letters addressed to the Prime Minister that were published in the book. Justin Webber, Chris Corliss and Daniel Abel wrote of the tragic accidents that changed their lives forever.

Your community thanks you.

Gympie Times


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