Fatal accident on the Bruce highway north at the United service station.
Fatal accident on the Bruce highway north at the United service station. Renee Albrecht

Blood on their hands: the terrible Bruce Hwy tally we keep

WHEN the new Deputy PM was in Gympie last week Wide Bay MP Llew O'Brien said to him something very powerful and true.

He said anybody who has lived in the Gympie region for longer than 10 or 15 years knows somebody either directly or indirectly who has lost their life, or who has a family member who has lost their life, on the Bruce Highway.

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One of my earliest memories as a child is hearing how my Nana's neighbours' 16-year-old daughter had been killed near the Kenilworth turn-off on the old highway to our south. Her parents had thought she was safely tucked up in bed when the police came knocking on their door in the middle of the night. That was a dark, dark day.

 

Llew O'Brien Federal Member for Wide Bay at the Gunalda service station near Gympie where there was a recent fatality.
Llew O'Brien Federal Member for Wide Bay at the Gunalda service station near Gympie where there was a recent fatality. Renee Albrecht

Since then I have lost another neighbour and her mother, an old school mate and the young daughter of a family friend. All on the Bruce Highway before Section C was finished.

How many of us are able to count the number of old friends, family and neighbours who have died on that highway? They've fixed the death stretch to our south, but now it stretches from the north side of town to Maryborough.

The longer we are forced to wait for completion of the Cooroy to Curra bypass, the longer the deaths in this region and our neighbours' to the north will keep happening.

Those who stand in the way of that upgrade will have blood on their hands.