In­land route is a safety night­mare

Is great idea, the cur­rent one needs se­ri­ous work to bring it up to scratch

Central and North Burnett Times - - NEWS - He­len Spelitis

IM­PROV­ING ba­sic safety along the in­land route from Bris­bane to Cairns must take pri­or­ity.

With up to 1000 heavy ve­hi­cles us­ing the route ev­ery day, the Royal Au­to­mo­bile Club of Queens­land has called on the State Gov­ern­ment to spend money widen­ing roads, adding over­tak­ing lanes, do­ing road­side clear­ing and in­stalling safety bar­ri­ers.

RACQ safety en­gi­neer Greg Miszkowycz took a four-day road trip along the in­land route from Bris­bane to Cairns.

The 2000km jour­ney in­cludes the Bur­nett Hwy and is the only al­ter­na­tive to the Bruce Hwy head­ing north.

For Mr Miszkowycz and his crew, the trip was an op­por­tu­nity to as­sess the road con­di­tions and weigh in on the de­bate sparked by Deputy Premier Jeff Seeney’s com­ments in Par­lia­ment ear­lier in the year.

In May, the Deputy Premier sug­gested a new in­land high­way would ben­e­fit re­gional com­mu­ni­ties and an al­ter­na­tive north-south link would be both a strate­gic and eco­nomic gain for Queens­land.

Now he main­tains he is com­mit­ted to de­vel­op­ing the in­land al­ter­na­tive to the flood-prone Bruce but needs money and voter ap­proval.

“We have a plan to un­lock more than $8 bil­lion for in­fra­struc­ture – such as the in­land high­way – as part of our Strong Choices cam­paign, which Queens­lan­ders will be given the chance to support at the next elec­tion,” Mr Seeney said.

But Mr Miszkowycz said the gov­ern­ment needed to ad­dress the short-term safety is­sues.

“With more ve­hi­cles the route is very un­for­giv­ing of driver er­ror,” he said.

“If the gov­ern­ment wants to use the route at times when it’s re­ally needed (when the Bruce is flooded), well it’s not up to scratch.”

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