23/11/2016

Statement on Bruce Highway, Cooroy to Curra four lane project – House of Representatives

It was a pleasure to welcome the Minister for Infrastructure and Transport to Wide Bay last week to inspect progress on the Bruce Highway, Cooroy to Curra, four-lane Section C project.

Section C is a 10.5 kilometre stretch of highway from Traveston to Woondum and is scheduled to finish in mid-2018. The construction phase is supporting around 600 jobs and, when completed, will boost the local economy. At the 2013 election, the coalition government committed to $2 billion to upgrade the Bruce Highway through Wide Bay. The Cooroy to Curra four-lane upgrade will make that section safer, faster and less congested, and it will improve flood immunity to prevent Gympie being cut off when the Mary River floods. It will also improve the capacity to move freight more efficiently along the coast. This will support major industry in the region, including the timber industry, manufacturing, dairying and local agriculture.

The Cooroy to Curra section was rated as one of the most dangerous sections of highway. Between 2002 and 2014 more than 50 people lost their lives along this deadly stretch. Regrettably, there are still too many lives being touched by the horror of serious accidents along this section yet to be upgraded. We need to continue to invest in the highway to make it safer and complete the full Cooroy to Curra project, including the 26 kilometre section D project to bypass Gympie.