Time to rise above flood
THE partially flooded section of Shute Harbour Road at Hamilton Plains on Saturday has bought the promised pre-election flood fix “business case” made by the Labor candidate for Whitsunday Bronwyn Taha to the fore.
In October last year Ms Taha said “the number one priority this election is to upgrade Hamilton Plains” and though she didn’t win the seat of Whitsunday, the Palaszczuk Labor Government was restored to power but the promise in “developing a business case to make sure this road is upgraded” is yet to materialise.
Member for Whitsunday Jason Costigan braved the wet on Shute Harbour Rd to document yet another flooding of the notorious section of road.
He is “holding the Labor Government to account” and in a Notice on Question to the Minister for Transport and Main Roads, Mark Bailey, Mr Costigan demanded to know “why the Palaszczuk Labor Government has failed to meet its own deadline in producing a ‘business case’ for an upgrade to flood-prone Shute Harbour Road at Hamilton Plains by the end of 2017”.
Mr Bailey responded by “not accepting” the premise of Mr Costigan’s question before saying “the business case has been developed which has identified the preferred project option for an upgrade to the Proserpine–Shute Harbour Road at Hamilton Plains”.
Mr Bailey went on to blame the former LNP government – in power before Annastacia Palaszczuk was elected in 2015 – of stripping $600 million from the transport budget.
“(Which) resulted in a shortfall in project planning and delivery that the Palaszczuk Government is still working to repair,” he said.
Mr Costigan accused Mr Bailey of a “wishy washy” response to his question.
“There is no appetite from the Palaszczuk Labor government to fix this as a priority,” he said.
“All the people want is a better road and so do I,” he said.
Mr Costigan said there were some who argued that raising of the Shute Harbour Rd crossing of Myrtle Creek should be included in the promised “business case”.
On Saturday, after the north-bound lane of Shute Harbour Rd had gone under water, the floodwater was about a metre under the bridge at Myrtle Creek.
The LNP made a pre-election commitment of $37 million to flood-proof Hamilton Plains.
FLOOD FIX: Jason Costigan MP wants to know why the State Government has not released a promised “business case” on the on-going flooding problem at Hamilton Plains.