Fix the Bruce

Whitsunday Times - - FRONT PAGE -

DAW­SON MP Ge­orge Chris­tensen is promis­ing to fi­nally “fix the Bruce” if his party is suc­cess­ful in its bid to win govern­ment.

Mr Chris­tensen says if the Lib­eral National Coali­tion wins the fed­eral elec­tion, there is money on the ta­ble to fix flood prone sec­tions of high­way such as Goor­ganga Plains. He says the Coali­tion would look at rais­ing road heights or pos­si­bly re-align­ing prob­lem stretches.

“The money we’ve got set aside over the next five years, if there does have to be a re­align­ment, will also cover the ac­qui­si­tion of the land,” he said.

Mr Chris­tensen’s pledge of $15mil­lion for the sec­tion of high­way from Lethe­brook to Goor­ganga Creek, has been wel­comed by his state col­league, Ja­son Costi­gan and Whit­sun­day mayor Jennifer Whit­ney, who both said it was im­per­a­tive that the re­gion was able to re­main open for busi­ness dur­ing pe­ri­ods of heavy rain.

“You just can’t say it’s in the too hard bas­ket,” Mr Costi­gan said.

But La­bor can­di­date Bron­wyn Taha says th­ese are just empty words about “an­other plan for a plan”.

“It’s lack­ing sub­stance and cred­i­bil­ity. There’s no plan there for the con­struc­tion and if they were re­ally se­ri­ous about flood proof­ing that sec­tion of the Bruce High­way why didn’t they make it a pri­or­ity in the 11 years they were in govern­ment,” she said.

“In­stead, they’re mak­ing an an­nounce­ment weeks be­fore an elec­tion.”

Ms Taha said as a lo­cal res­i­dent she was fully aware of the need to flood proof the high­way but “hun­dreds of mil­lions of dollars” would be re- quired to fix the Goor­ganga flood­plain.

Greens can­di­date Jonathon Dykyj agreed that flood proof­ing the road would cost “mega dol- lars”, but he sug­gested also look­ing at the root of the prob­lem.

“If we don’t ad­dress the un­der­ly­ing is­sues and stresses on the high­way of freight and trucks and how we dis­trib­ute [goods], then we’re just go­ing to be end­lessly pour­ing money into it,” he said.

FIX IT: Whit­sun­day MP Ja­son Costi­gan (front) and Mayor Jennifer Whit­ney (right) are sup­port­ive of the com­mit­ment by Daw­son MP Ge­orge Chris­tensen (back) to “fix the Bruce”.

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