It’s official: our roads the worst
AN RACQ report has confirmed what many Queensl anders have known f or years – the State is home to t h e wor s t r o a d s i n t h e country.
According to the RACQ Australian Road Assessment Program report, 89 per cent of the Queensland road network is in the high-or medium-risk category.
The report also shows 11 of the 16 most dangerous pieces of road in Queensland are located on the Bruce Highway, including the stretches b e t ween Pros e r p i ne a nd Mackay and Innisfail and Cairns.
Main Roads Minister Craig Wallace s a i d t he r e p o r t e mph a s i s e d h o w u n d e r - funded the highway had been by previous federal governments.
Mr Wallace said although Main Roads had assisted with the AusRAP report, he was still very concerned by the results, which showed that national highways in Queensland were the worst in the nation.
‘‘ I welcome this study because it shows how much
Craig Wallace federal funding we need to do to bring our national highways up to standard,’’ Mr Wallace said. ‘‘ After years of under-investment by previous Commonwealth governments, it’s little wonder that Queensland’s national highways get such a bad report card.
‘‘ I think we can all agree that our national highways need more federal funding.’’
Mr Wallace said over five years the Howard Government had spent $ 800 million on the Bruce Highway compared with $ 2.6 billion under Labor.
Herbert MP Ewen Jones said he agreed with Mr Wallace that the highway had been neglected by a series of previous govern- ments and congratulated Labor for investing in road infrastructure.
However he said the decision to cut flood mitigation works as part of the flood levy savings plan contradicted their assertion they were committed to the highway.
‘‘ I’ll stand toe to toe with him and say I agree with him that it’s a series of governments ( who’ve neglected the highway) and I’ll give Labor the pat on the back and say they have spent more in their four to five years on the Bruce Highway than we did before.
‘‘ I disagree that the flood mitigation work which was pulled as the response by the government to the flood tax should have happened.
‘‘ When a government is sitting there saying we have to spend anything we can to get traffic through the Bruce Highway again and then pull funding it’s ridiculous.
‘‘ We couldn’t get through to help Tully and Cardwell for days after Cyclone Yasi, which was bad enough, but there is a smaller population up there. Imagine if it happened here ( in Townsville) where we’ve got a population of 180,000. We would have been in big trouble if no one could help us.’’