Australia’s most expensive road handed back to NSW
A GOLD Coast MP is claiming an early State of Origin victory after Australia's most expensive road was handed to NSW to maintain.
The Tugun Bypass opened in 2008 at a record cost of $543 million and despite 60 per cent of the road being south of the border, the NSW Government refused to contribute a cent.
The cost of the 7km stretch of road blew out massively, partly because special crossings had to be built for the endangered wallum sedge frog.
A $3 million bridge also had to be built so Billabong surfwear founder Gordon Merchant could access his hilltop mansion.
But after refusing to help build the bypass or fund its annual multimillion-dollar upkeep - and even handing Queensland a $236,000 land tax bill for building the road in NSW - operation and maintenance for the bypass has finally been handed to the Berejiklian Government.
Currumbin MP Jann Stuckey said it was high time.
"This road has cost Queensland taxpayers a fortune - it cost over $540 million to build and has cost us $70 million to operate and upkeep," she said.
"That's $70 million that could have been better spent fixing the M1."
Ms Stuckey said Queensland Roads Minister Mark Bailey had advised there would be no official handover ceremony.
"That's hardly surprising as the (Palaszczuk) Labor Government wouldn't want to remind people of their incompetence and the massive cost blowouts associated with this project," she said.
The bypass, which includes a 334m tunnel under Gold Coast Airport, has dramatically cut travel times between the Gold Coast and northern NSW.