News

MPs by-pass the blame

ABOVE: The death toll continues while politicians fight over who is to blame for bypass schedule blow-out.
ABOVE: The death toll continues while politicians fight over who is to blame for bypass schedule blow-out.

GYMPIE ambulance chief Wayne Sachs has put new pressure on the Federal Government for an accelerated safety upgrade for the Bruce Hwy past Gympie.

Mr Sachs said the 15-year schedule for completing the Cooroy-to-Curra upgrade was "too long to wait" while deaths continued on older stretches.

He said the last two sections of the upgrade where work has not started should be fast-tracked. And he said that Wide Bay federal MP and Transport Minister Warren Truss should know that.

"You can't put a price on life," Mr Sachs told ABC local radio.

"Warren Truss has gone on record saying that every time he drives between the northern outskirts of Gympie, through Gympie and to Cooroy, his heart is in his mouth.

"He said that when he was in opposition and I'm going to hold him to that."

Mr Truss quickly issued a press statement blaming

Labor for the delay and Labor's former transport minister Anthony Albanese hit back, accusing Mr Truss of doing nothing for 12 years when he was transport minister

under the previous Coalition government.

Mr Truss said the new Coalition Government was "working right now" to fix the mess made by Labor when it built Section B from Federal to Traveston so it could skirt the inundation area of "the non-existent Traveston Crossing dam".

"This creates a difficulty at Traveston, where four lanes go from 110kmh to 90kmh and from four lanes to two," he said.

"The same difficulty occurs at Cooroy."

The Coalition Government committed to completing the entire upgrade by 2020.

"We are going as fast as we can," Mr Truss said.

Mr Albanese said Mr Truss was part of a government that had done nothing for 12 years "and he was transport minister".

"I turned the first sod on the first section and there's been no additional money for the Bruce Hwy in the new federal Budget," Mr Albanese said.

"He hasn't built one metre of road that wasn't started by Labor."

Topics:  bruce highway mp wayne sachs

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