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Wallace spins on Cooroy to Curra Highway.

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Wallace spins on Cooroy to Curra Highway

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Source: Warren Truss MP

Attempts by the Queensland Main Roads Minister, Craig Wallace, (media release 21st July 2009) to pass off work on Section B of the Cooroy to Curra Bruce Highway upgrade as anything other than a road around the Traveston Crossing Dam are dishonest.

Shadow Transport Minister and Federal Member for Wide Bay Warren Truss said he welcomed the start on upgrading the Bruce Highway. However, if it were not for the proposed Traveston Crossing dam, it would be Section A that would be being constructed,

not Section B, and Section B would be being built on the community’s preferred route rather than a road around the dam inundation.

After a $5 million two year study of the preferred route for the Cooroy to Curra upgrade, the community clearly chose route for Section B broadly along the alignment of the existing Highway.

Mr Wallace in his press release admits that his department over ruled the community’s preferred route and has instead chosen a path around the Traveston Crossing dam.

Claims by Mr Wallace that the chosen route will be cheaper and will cause less disruption to residents and property owners are barely credible. The chosen route is longer than the community’s preferred option, involves massive earth works and will disrupt the lifestyle of property owners a long distance away from the existing Highway.

“If Mr Wallace wants to be believed on this issue, I call on him to release the detailed costings of both options,” Mr Truss said.

Mr Wallace also claims that Section A is a lower priority for reconstruction because of recent safety improvements undertaken on that section of the Highway. He forgets that safety improvements were also undertaken on Section B, and that those safety improvements have dramatically reduced the number of accidents on Section B.

Indeed, the fatal accident zones on the Bruce Highway are now concentrated in Sections A and C, not the section of road Labor has chosen to upgrade.

Mr Truss said he is concerned that the decision to give priority to Section B will significantly increase the number of accidents of Sections A and C.

“Under Labor’s plan a two lane road will lead into a four lane 110 kilometre stretch which will end just before traffic is required to slow to 80 kilometres an hour past the Matilda service station.”

Mr Wallace must also provide details of any safety audit that his department has conducted before the decision was made to build Section B before Section A.

“The truth is the whole road needs to be rebuilt and upgraded. After promising to build the road around the Traveston Crossing dam at its own expense, the bankrupt State Labor Bligh Government has conned a half blind Federal Government into paying for the project.

“The Federal money could have been put to building Sections A or C to deliver the community the four lane road they need.”