MPs lobby to fix Bruce
A FEDERAL politicians' lobby group has stopped off in Childers and Gin Gin as part of a five-day journey to highlight problem sections on the Bruce Hwy (see map below).
Member for Hinkler Paul Neville, Member for Flynn Ken O'Dowd and Nationals leader Warren Truss were among the Federal Coalition Parliamentary Bruce Highway Action Group to talk roadside about their concerns for the safety of users of the highway, as part of their Fix the Bruce campaign.
"The Bruce Hwy services 11 cities and is the major route for countless journeys," Mr Truss said.
"This project is about talking to local people and hearing their priorities and concerns along the way."
In a convoy of vehicles, the politicians will travel the Bruce Hwy, stopping to hear local concerns and ideas for management.
Mr Neville said sections of the road were dangerous and many areas were prone to flooding.
He said the group had identified several problem sites that required urgent attention, including the passing lane at South Isis, which had "a dangerous blind hill".
Another problem site was the intersection of the highway with North South Rd, which could be particularly dangerous with large haul-out traffic during the cane crush.
They also nominated the flood-prone Currajon Creek, south of Gin Gin, and the southern entrance into Gin Gin, where there is a need to address the problem of frequent vehicle turnovers and noise issues.
On top of these sites, the action group is also looking for public input.
Mr Neville described the recent budget allocations for the Bruce Hwy as "disappointingly inadequate".
He said he and his colleagues were calling on the State Government to "stump up at least $4 billion, as there was no new spending in our area in the recent budget".
"We plan to identify what needs to be fixed, identify priorities and to suggest future works and investments," Mr Neville said.
Division 2 councillor Tony Ricciardi voiced his concerns about the possible bypass of Childers and impact it would have on the town, but was assured by the Bruce Hwy crisis group that no plans had been made on this front for the near future.
The group said the key priorities were safety, to fix existing damage, flooding infrastructure, congestion and overtaking lanes.