Tragedies bring calls for up­grade of high­way

Townsville Bulletin - - NEWS - RACHEL RI­LEY

BUR­DEKIN MP Dale Last says more needs to be done to im­prove the Bruce High­way be­tween Townsville and Mackay.

Yesterday’s crashes brought the July toll for the no­to­ri­ous stretch to five af­ter a man died when his car rolled at Mount Ossa, north of Mackay, on July 9.

Mr Last said yesterday’s deaths would leave a big hole in a com­mu­nity al­ready do­ing it tough.

“It’s shock­ing for Bowen and shock­ing for Bur­dekin to think that you could have two sep­a­rate ac­ci­dents so close to­gether and have the loss of so many lives, it’s un­be­liev­able,” he said.

“Par­tic­u­larly to lose some­one as young as 15 with their life in front of them is so tragic.”

Mr Last said it was the start of the tourism, cane crush­ing and har­vest­ing sea­son, so con­ges­tion on the high­way was at its peak.

“At this time of year, we’ve got a lot of back­pack­ers go­ing through Bowen and the Bur­dekin pick­ing fruit and veg­eta­bles and it’s that time when the com­mu­ni­ties re­ally come alive,” he said.

“These in­ci­dents just high­light there is still a lot of work to be done on the Bruce High­way.”

The three deaths at Home Hill brought the North­ern re­gion’s road toll to 36 for the year.

The road toll for the Cen­tral re­gion, which in­cludes Bowen, also rose to 36 af­ter the 15- year- old girl died south of the town.

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