Wide Bay MP Llew O’Brien says a pattern is emerging over the State’s inability to get funded Bruce Highway projects up and running. Photo Lachie Millard
Wide Bay MP Llew O’Brien says a pattern is emerging over the State’s inability to get funded Bruce Highway projects up and running. Photo Lachie Millard

O’Brien slams State: Start thinking past inner Brisbane

LLEW O'Brien has continued to tee off on the State Government and Transport Minister Mark Bailey over the Bruce Highway, saying a pattern was emerging of funded projects failing to be delivered.

The Federal Wide Bay MP yesterday blasted the State on social media over the lack of action on overtaking lanes at Tinana, a project given $13.32 million in funding back in January 2018.

"These overtaking lanes are fully funded by the Australian Government - there's no 20 per cent contribution required from the Queensland Government - but they are nowhere in sight," Mr O'Brien said.

Mr O’Brien (inset left) and State Transport Minister Mark bailey (inset right) clashed last week over a proposed two-lane bypass of Tiaro.
Mr O’Brien (inset left) and State Transport Minister Mark bailey (inset right) clashed last week over a proposed two-lane bypass of Tiaro.

"We're now coming up on three years since this project was announced.

"There's a pattern emerging here.

"We've also been waiting for the Bruce Highway and Wide Bay Highway intersection upgrade at Bells Bridge since funding was announced in 2017 - and construction hasn't started there either."

Tenders for the $14 million Bells Bridge upgrade closed in August this year.

"Transport Minister Mark Bailey and the Queensland Government have put these projects on hold for way too long," he said.

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"It's unacceptable and it's dangerous.

"Please stop thinking about inner Brisbane and start thinking about the regions where you are more likely to be killed in a car accident."

Mr O’Brien says it is ‘unacceptable’ that the Bells Bridge Bruce Highway intersection upgrade – which has been the site of numerous serious crashes – has not yet started despite it being three years since funding was announced.
Mr O’Brien says it is ‘unacceptable’ that the Bells Bridge Bruce Highway intersection upgrade – which has been the site of numerous serious crashes – has not yet started despite it being three years since funding was announced.

The criticism follows a clash of heads with Mr Bailey over a proposed two-lane Tiaro bypass, which Mr O'Brien said was the kind of road "killing Queenslanders".

In the post Mr O'Brien said Mr Bailey should "apologise to the people of the Wide Bay for putting that plan forward".

He also took aim over the proposed dividing barrier put forward as a safety solution for the Tiaro bypass, which he said was "cobbled together as a knee-jerk reaction".

"When a transport Minister starts designing roads five minutes before an election it's never a good outcome."

Mr Bailey's office has been contacted for comment.

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The video is the latest in a series of clashes between the pair over the proposed Tiaro upgrade.

Mr Bailey accused Mr O’Brien of lacking integrity over his comments about the Tiaro bypass and a proposed divider on the road. Photographer: Liam Kidston.
Mr Bailey accused Mr O’Brien of lacking integrity over his comments about the Tiaro bypass and a proposed divider on the road. Photographer: Liam Kidston.

Mr O'Brien initially declared he would not support the two-lane project or endorse a joint Federal-State media release about it.

Mr Bailey in response accused the former police officer of having "no integrity".

He knows, because I told him, that there will be physical separation between the north and south lanes of the new Tiaro bypass, so no risk of there being any head-on crashes whatsoever," Mr Bailey said.

"A very low act by, sadly, an MP with no integrity."

The pair then butted heads again on Mr O'Brien's Facebook page; Mr Bailey accused the Wide Bay MP of misrepresenting what had been agreed upon regarding the concrete divide.

Mr O'Brien said he was fighting for "a better, safer Bruce Highway and nothing will distract me from that".

Gympie Times


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