The LNP is planning to improve the safety of the Bruce Hwy.
The LNP is planning to improve the safety of the Bruce Hwy.

$33B plan to improve road safety on CQ’s Bruce Hwy

PLANS to increase a deadly stretch of the Bruce Hwy out to four lanes could soon take shape should the LNP take out the upcoming election.

LNP Leader Deb Frecklington today visited Rockhampton alongside Candidate for Mirani Tracie Newitt, inspecting the highway’s Yaamba section, just north of Rockhampton.

Under the proposed $33 billion plan, a four-lane Bruce Highway stretch would be developed from Curra to Cairns.

The commitment, Ms Frecklington said, would save numerous lives after 16 fatalities were tragically recorded between 2014 to 2018.

“An average of four people are being killed on the Bruce Highway every year in the Mirani electorate,” she said.

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The LNP has committed $33 billion to increasing parts of the Bruce Highway to four lanes.
The LNP has committed $33 billion to increasing parts of the Bruce Highway to four lanes.

“It’s time to fix this deadly road and only the LNP has a plan to do it.”

If elected in October, the LNP will immediately invest $50m in project planning.

The party would also work with the Federal Government to secure joint state and federal funding to cover the multi-billion dollar price tag.

However, a sizeable increase to the annual Bruce Highway budget would take place to cover the state’s portion of the funding by around 125 per cent – from $200m to $440m.

Though Ms Frecklington appears confident the sizeable investment would be a worthy one for Central Queensland’s economy.

The project, she revealed, was also expected to supercharge the local job market with around 100,000 new jobs to be created over its 15-year timeline.

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Photos show a truck crash at a two-lane stretch of Bruce Highway about 35km south of Miriam Vale. Picture: Rodney Stevens DJI Mavic Air 2
Photos show a truck crash at a two-lane stretch of Bruce Highway about 35km south of Miriam Vale. Picture: Rodney Stevens DJI Mavic Air 2

Of those, an estimated 6820 full-time opportunities will be generated on an annual basis.

A handful of the region’s construction contractors would also be consulted to ensure local contracts were awarded should the works go ahead.

“The Bruce Highway is the economic lifeline for Mackay, Rocky and all the communities in between – but Labor has failed to invest in this absolutely vital road,” she said.

“Building a four-lane Bruce Highway will help stimulate the economy, create a decade of secure jobs and drag Queensland out of recession.”

The commitment would mean the Bruce Hwy is increased to four lanes from Curra to Cairns.
The commitment would mean the Bruce Hwy is increased to four lanes from Curra to Cairns.

Ms Newitt revealed news of the party’s proposed plans was welcomed by both truck drivers and local communities.

“The Bruce Highway connects our region to the rest of Queensland,” she said.

“Anyone who drives the Bruce through Mirani knows how dangerous this road is.

“This region makes a massive contribution to the Queensland economy and it’s time money was spent on improving our infrastructure.”

Candidate for Keppel Adrian De Groot added tourist communities would also benefit.

“A better Bruce Highway will give tourism in Keppel a big boost,” Mr De Groot said.

“Better roads make it safer and easier for tourists to get out and explore regional Queensland, especially areas like Keppel.”

The Bruce Highway currently operates as a two-lane road for 1470km of its total 1650km length.

Speaking in Rockhampton this morning, Deputy Premier and Health Minister Stephen Miles said: “It was disappointing that Deb Frecklington was in town today, but she didn’t outline, she didn’t admit, how many nurses and midwives and health staff would be cut from this health service to pay for her $23 billion of election commitments.”