STOP THIS SLAUGHTER: Federal Wide Bay MP Llew O'Brien at the Gunalda service station near Gympie, in the middle of the highway's new death stretch.
STOP THIS SLAUGHTER: Federal Wide Bay MP Llew O'Brien at the Gunalda service station near Gympie, in the middle of the highway's new death stretch. Renee Albrecht

'Unacceptable' - MP blasts Canberra on road deaths

GYMPIE'S Wide Bay MP on Thursday took his message about Bruce Hwy safety to the most powerful court in the land, the federal parliament.

And his message was this: the death toll on the Bruce Hwy is unacceptable - simple as that.

A war-zone death toll cannot be tolerated any longer.

Despite welcoming many aspects of his own party's federal budget, Mr O'Brien did not hide his dissatisfaction with progress on the Bruce Hwy, both the by-pass of Gympie and a major upgrade between Gympie and Maryborough.

Mr O'Brien used the dual occasions of Road Safety Week (he is dual chair of the Parliamentary Friends of Road Safety committee) and his 90-second window of opportunity to comment on the budget.

Wearing a yellow ribbon in honour of lives lost on the roads, he told the house of the 11,300 people killed on Australian roads last year, a 7.9% increase on the 2015 toll.

"Recently, the Bruce Highway north of Gympie, has claimed seven lives. This is unacceptable.

"These crashes devastate families and communities; leaving a lasting impact on all involved.

"Since the 25km section A and B of the Cooroy to Curra upgrade have been completed, what was once the most deadly section of highway in Australia has become fatality free.

"With the construction of Section C well advanced, we now need federal and state governments to fund construction of Section D, where detailed design and land acquisitions are well underway.

"And upgrades need to continue north to Maryborough.

"People are dying in the electorate of Wide Bay and it must stop," he said.

Gympie Times

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