Seeney calls for highway action

LNP parliamentary leader Jeff Seeney, highway-side at Federal yesterday, calling for a 10-year plan to fix the Bruce Hwy.
LNP parliamentary leader Jeff Seeney, highway-side at Federal yesterday, calling for a 10-year plan to fix the Bruce Hwy. Renee Pilcher

LNP parliamentary leader and shadow infrastructure minister Jeff Seeney went to Federal State School yesterday to launch a grass-roots campaign to fix the Bruce Hwy.

With $250 million worth of new highway investment in the background, Mr Seeney said drivers were still having to use the old road, which now functioned as a low-speed side track.

The half completed job had been sitting idle for more than a year, he said.

He said the State Government had failed to spend about $230 million of money allocated to it for the highway.

This and the lack of a co-ordinated plan for the whole length of the highway meant the Federal Government was not taking Queensland seriously when it came to funding upgrades.

“It’s a federally funded road, but what we can do in Queensland is have a plan that is not just a set of knee-jerk reactions. Our current approach is disjointed, knee-jerk and ad hoc,” he said.

The “outrageous outcome” was $250 million worth of work sitting idle.

“The Bruce Highway is the number one infrastructure issue for Queensland at the moment.”

He said allegations that the LNP planned to charge a toll on the highway were “childish politics by the State Government.

“It’s a federally funded road. Queensland can’t put a toll on it,” he said.

The important thing about the highway is that it is infrastructure for the whole Queensland community, not just local users.

“We as a community end up better off because of the infrastructure we have,” he said.

“A bucket-load of taxpayers’ money has been spent, but motorists are still driving on a dangerous side-track waiting for the job to be finished.”

Launching his petition, Mr Seeney said it called for the Bligh government to produce the 20-year Queensland infrastructure plan they promised in May last year “and to ensure it included a detailed plan to fix the Bruce Highway.

“We need action and we need to highlight the absolute failure of the government to push for improvements to our most important road. We also need to see a plan that’s going to fix problems along the Bruce Highway within 10 years.

“This (petition) is about ordinary Queenslanders taking direct action and telling parliament that they are sick and tired of nothing being done to fix this dangerous and deadly highway,” he said.

“This is about putting people-power pressure on the government to stop the spin, stop all the nonsense and produce a proper plan to upgrade the Bruce Highway.

“Countless state and federal infrastructure reports have highlighted how bad this highway is and the latest RACQ road safety report confirms it,” he said.

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