It’s of­fi­cial: our roads the worst

Townsville Bulletin - - News - by Emily Mac­don­ald emily. mac­don­ald@ townsville­bul­letin. com. au

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.’’

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