Please join the fight to fast track the Tiaro bypass and four lane the Bruce Highway from Curra to Maryborough
Sign the petition here
The Bruce Highway through Wide Bay connects Cooroy, Gympie, Gunalda, Glenwood, Bauple, Tiaro, Maryborough and all communities in between. It’s a vital transport corridor linking families and friends, and commerce, freight and tourism.
But it’s also a corridor of tragedy, the site of ten fatalities this year alone, and numerous crashes causing serious injuries and loss of productivity.
The Gympie bypass is expected to open later next year, extending the four lane divided highway to Curra. But there are no commitments to extend the four lanes further from Curra to Maryborough.
With over 11,000 vehicle movements every day along our stretch of the national highway, if our section of highway was in New South Wales or Victoria it would already be four lanes.
The time for four lanes through Wide Bay is long overdue.
I’m encouraging everyone to sign petitions to the Queensland and Australian Governments, calling on them to fast track and prioritise the four lane Tiaro bypass, and commit to extending the four lane section from Curra to Maryborough.
In 2021 we fought for and won a $268 million funding commitment from the Federal Government to build a four-lane Tiaro bypass with a concrete barrier separating north and southbound lanes.
On 9 June 2021 former Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack visited Tiaro to announce a $268 million commitment for a four lane bypass from the Liberal and Nationals Government. Barnaby Joyce on 13 July 2021 subsequently confirmed the funding commitment in a letter to the Queensland Minister for Transport and Main Roads Main Roads Mark Bailey.
On 6 September 2021 the Queensland Minister for Transport and Main Roads replied to Barnaby Joyce with a funding profile for the four lane Tiaro bypass, indicating that major construction would commence in 2024.
But the Albanese Labor Government has put a huge question mark over that funding. The May 2023 Federal Budget put a cloud over the much needed four lane Tiaro bypass when the Albanese Labor Government pushed the project into a 90 day review, which 120 days later and counting, is still yet to report.
When the Tiaro bypass was first proposed the Queensland Government originally recommended a two-lane corridor – without any separation between opposing directions of traffic – and they wanted me to call it a safety upgrade.
Tiaro is the four-lane bypass that Queensland Labor didn’t want and Federal Labor is on the record calling it a waste of money.
The evidence is there for everyone to see.
On 18 September 2020, the Queensland Minister for Transport and Main Roads said, “there is a lot of capacity… there is no issue about gridlock or hold-ups at the moment and there is not foreseen (to be) for the next couple of decades.”
On October 2 2020 a Labor representative said four lanes weren’t needed, the money would be better spent elsewhere, and the four-lane Bruce Highway plan is a “waste of taxpayers’ money.”
Our community rejected those arguments, the Coalition Government listened, and increased its share of the funding to $286 million to construct the four lane Tiaro bypass.
Following the change of Federal Government at the May 2022 Federal election, I wrote to the incoming Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, Catherine King on 6 June 2022 to ask that the funding commitment for the four lane Tiaro bypass be maintained.
On 17 November 2022 Minister King told local media that the funding commitment had been maintained in the Federal Government’s October 2022 Budget and confirmed the same to me in a letter on 21 November 2022.
But all of this changed In the May 2023 Budget, when the Federal Government suspended its commitment to the four lane Tiaro bypass, and placed this vital project into a 90 day Infrastructure Investment Program Strategic Review.
Even before the review slowed the project down, the funding profile for the Tiaro bypass agreed between the Albanese and Palaszczuk Labor Governments indicated the new section wouldn’t be open to traffic until 2028 or later.
The 90 days for that review have well and truly passed. In fact, it’s more than 120 days since the Albanese Government announced the review, and now the government is indicating that recommendations arising from the review won’t be released until around the time of the Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook (MYEFO). MYEFO is released each year by the end of January, or six months after the last Budget, whichever is later, so it’s likely we won’t know the fate of the Tiaro bypass until December.
The Brisbane Olympics had its funding guaranteed and quarantined from this review. But the Albanese Labor Government refused to exempt the vital four lane Tiaro bypass from its review.
With 11,000 vehicle movements every day and five fatalities so far this year, everyone who uses this section of Highway knows the four lane Tiaro bypass is needed right now, and instead of subjecting it to a futile review, Governments should be working to fast track and prioritise it.
I’m working to make our stretch of the Bruce Highway one of the safest sections of the national highway.
Wide Bay deserves nothing less.
If you agree please like and share this page, and sign these petitions calling on the Queensland and Australian Governments to fast track and prioritise the four lane Tiaro bypass and commit to upgrading the Bruce Highway between Curra and Maryborough to four lanes.
Stay safe on the roads and thanks for your support.