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Coalition Members of Parliament complete Bruce Highway drive



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Coalition Members of Parliament complete Bruce Highway drive

23rd July, 2012

Leader of The Nationals and Shadow Minister for Transport and Infrastructure, Warren Truss, and twelve other Federal and State Liberal and National Members of Parliament have completed a five day road trip along the notorious Bruce Highway from Brisbane to Cairns.

In all, seven Federal Members and six State Liberal and National Party Members of Parliament participated in various parts of the trip.

Mr Truss said the journey had provided an excellent opportunity to make comparative assessments of road reconstruction priorities and to discuss local priorities with those who use the Highway most.

“While Members of Parliament who represent the Bruce Highway know it well and drive it often, this was a good opportunity to consider the priorities as a group,” Mr Truss said.

The Fix the Bruce convoy spoke with local community leaders, Councils, tourism groups, police, paramedics, engineers, construction gangs, grey nomads, truckies and fellow motorists.

“Our convoy inspected many of the thirty-three sites where flooding regularly blocks the road, as well as many of the notorious accident spots which have helped give the Bruce Highway the ignominy of counting for one in six of the road deaths on the entire national highway system.”

Mr Truss said a lot of work has been undertaken over recent decades to upgrade the Bruce and some further projects are currently under way. Additionally, patching and repair work is being undertaken to restore the Bruce Highway following recent flooding.

“It is clear that much more work needs to be done. A Newman LNP Government commitment to provide $1billion extra for the Bruce Highway over the next ten years is a welcome initiative and reflects an encouraging change of attitude from the Queensland Government towards the upgrading of the Bruce.

“An incoming Federal Coalition Government will also be committed to providing increased funding to deliver a Bruce Highway that meets national highway standards.

“The Coalition priorities will include road upgrades to eliminate accident spots, making the highway more resistant to flood closures and improving the carrying capacity of the road through improvement projects such as more passing lanes and extending the four laning, especially between Cooroy and Curra.”

Mr Truss said that the “Fix the Bruce” was an initiative of the Federal Coalition Parliamentary Bruce Highway Action Group, which has been meeting since the last election to raise awareness of the need to take urgent action to upgrade the Highway.

“After the drive, the Group is better equipped to identify priorities and to argue the case for projects to deliver a safer and more efficient Highway.”

Mr Truss was accompanied on the journey by Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for Roads, Darren Chester, and for part or all of the journey by Federal Members, Paul Neville (Hinkler), Ken O’Dowd (Flynn), George Christensen (Dawson), Ewen Jones (Herbert) and Warren Entsch (Leichhardt). State Members who participated in the drive included David Gibson (Gympie), Anne Maddern (Maryborough), Bruce Young (Keppel), Jason Costigan (Whitsunday), Ted Malone (Mirani) and John Hathaway (Townsville).