Cooroy to Curra on death list again

Building of Section B of the Cooroy to Curra upgrade has begun but construction of Section A won't begin until at least 2015.
Building of Section B of the Cooroy to Curra upgrade has begun but construction of Section A won't begin until at least 2015. Contributed

THE stretch of Bruce Highway between Cooroy to Curra remains on the list of most dangerous Queensland roads with the LNP claiming the Bligh government has failed to act.

"This morning's independent Australian Road Assessment Program report confirms the appalling failure of the long-term Labor government to fix the notoriously dangerous Bruce Highway,'' the LNP said.

But the State Government hit back, saying it had already released a plan to fix the federally-funded road - and the election of the LNP would see that stalled.

LNP Parliamentary Leader Jeff Seeney said the AusRAP report found the Bruce Highway accounted for two-thirds of the 15 most dangerous sections of national highway in Queensland.

"This is an independent report, and coming on top of the series of bad smashes south of Rockhampton this week, surely confirms just how bad our main highway has become under Craig Wallace and the long-term Labor government," Mr Seeney said.

"AusRAP gives Queensland an alarmingly bad report for high-risk highways.

"The Bruce Highway is a shocker - there's no other way to describe it because as AusRAP has found, it accounted for half of all casualty crashes and nearly two-thirds of deaths on Queensland's national road network between 2005 and 2009."

Mr Seeney said the RACQ was absolutely right in calling for far greater levels of funding and a proper 10-year plan from the State government to redress many stretches of the Bruce Highway, including the most dangerous sections:

•       Cooroy to Gympie
•       Gympie to Childers
•       Childers to Miriam Vale
•       Miriam Vale to Rockhampton
•       Sarina to Mackay
•       Mackay to Proserpine
•       Proserpine to Ayr
•       Townsville to Ingham
•       Ingham to Innisfail
•       Innisfail to Cairns

Mr Wallace said the report again highlighted the importance of a comprehensive plan.

"The Bruce Highway is a Federally-funded road but only Labor had a plan to take to the Australian Government to get the funds we need," Mr Wallace said.

"Our plan released last month sets out our ultimate vision for a four-lane Bruce Highway from Gympie to Cairns and how we're going to achieve it.

"It identifies 110 priority projects including 340 kilometres of highway duplication, 50 new overtaking lanes, intersection upgrades, bridge replacements and 10 proposed ring roads, bypasses and deviations.

"$2.3 billion has been spent on the Bruce Highway over the past five years but more needs to be done, that's why we've developed this comprehensive plan.

"There are currently more than 30 major projects underway on the Bruce Highway including the Townsville Douglas Arterial Duplication, Mackay southern access upgrade, Cooroy to Curra Section B upgrade and Cardwell Range realignment.

"The Bligh Government is constantly knocking on the Federal Government's door asking for more money and we've successfully achieved the bringing forward of Commonwealth funding for a number of projects.

"(Campbell) Newman had said he won't have a plan for the Bruce Highway until at least six months after the
election, meaning progress being made on the Bruce would grind to a halt.''

Topics:  bruce highway cooroy curra

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