SAVE LOCAL LIVES: Sign the petition for a safer Bruce Hwy
THE GYMPIE Times has today launched an e-petition to help seal the deal for $800 million in Federal Government funding needed to complete the Bruce Hwy Bypass through the Gympie region.
We implore residents of the entire Wide Bay to sign the petition launched today by Gympie Times editor Shelley Strachan after it was approved by a special parliamentary committee and which strives to secure construction funding for Section D of the bypass.
The petition number is EN0544 and signatures are now open, and will stay open until April 25, 2018.
From next week a special card will arrive in 60,000 letter boxes across the Wide Bay thanks to Federal Member Llew O'Brien, promoting the petition and providing a link to find it online.
The State Government has already promised its $200 million share of the $1 billion, 26km project which will divert the Bruce Hwy around Gympie to the east, joining it up with the old highway at Curra.
"Road safety is a top priority for me, Shelley as well as local media and motorists from all over Wide Bay," Mr O'Brien said.
"Too many lives have been lost in horrific fatal accidents and too many people have suffered from serious injuries in crashes on the Bruce Highway between Cooroy and Curra.
"If you've lived in Gympie for more than 10 years, you'll know a family who has felt the devastation of an accident causing serious injury or death of a loved one on the Bruce Highway.
"We must fix this," Mr O'Brien said.
"The Cooroy to Curra Bruce Highway upgrade is divided up into four projects. Sections A, B and C are completed and open to traffic. We've all seen the benefits of this new four lane, divided highway between Cooroy and Woondum, which is fatality free.
"We now need to finish the job and get Section D done.
"Section D is a 26 kilometre project from Woondum to Curra that will transform one of the deadliest sections of the Bruce Highway into a safer, high capacity highway that will connect Wide Bay communities when the Mary River floods.
"The Cooroy to Curra upgrade is literally a lifesaving piece of highway engineering and I want to see the whole project completed, with Section D bringing the safer road all the way to Curra.
"The project will also deliver economic benefits to the region. For motorists travelling between Woondum and Curra, Section D will eliminate eight sets of traffic lights, better connecting Wide Bay to Brisbane and Maryborough.
"Section D is a congestion buster, taking heavy vehicles out of Gympie, enabling faster travel between Maryborough and Cooroy, and improves access to the Cooloola Coast.
"The Australian Government has already spent $52 million on detailed design and acquisitions, and the Queensland Government is committed to the project. Section D is the final project along the Cooroy to Curra corridor and I need your support to finish the job."
The Gympie Times petition can be signed at https://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Petitions/House_of_Representatives_Petitions/Petitions_General/Petitions_List