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Thursday, 21 October 2010
Page: 1135


Mr NEVILLE (1:49 PM) —The crucial Isis River Bridge upgrade on the Bruce Highway in my electorate has been brought forward because of concerted public pressure. The bridge is located south of Childers and its approaches consist of sweeping bends, while the bridge itself is quite narrow and low to the river. I have spoken about the need to prioritise the scheduled $25 million replacement, in the name of safety, after Labor promised the project back in 2007. At the start of this year an 80 kilometres per hour speed limit was imposed on the approaches to the bridge as a stopgap measure until the upgrade occurred—the clearest possible indication that safety issues existed.

The original works schedule stretched the project out as far as 2014—note that: 2014. But I am pleased to say that preliminary works have now started on the project. Public pressure, of which I was part, forced the issue after a series of terrible accidents in the past 12 months or so. I applaud the efforts of the local community in speaking out, in particular the Isis Town & Country and News Mail newspapers.

The new bridge will be wider with a higher clearance and streamlined approaches and it will improve visibility in both directions. The new bridge will be to the east of the existing one. I understand that the project will be finished in approximately 12 months time, which is great news for every single person who drives on the Bruce Highway in my electorate. (Time expired)