Bruce Highway Upgrade Cooroy to Curra - Curra interchange
Bruce Highway Upgrade Cooroy to Curra - Curra interchange

Minister confirms Gympie Bypass will start in 2 months

CONSTRUCTION of the $1 billion final section of the Gympie bypass needs to be urgently brought forward to help kickstart the local economy, Gytmpie MP Tony Perrett said yesterday.

Mr Perrett called on the State government to commence construction of the Gympie bypass of the Cooroy to Curra Section D of the Bruce Highway upgrade.

REVEALED: Gympie region’s biggest crash zones of the past decade

“I have written to the Minister for Transport and Main Roads asking for his support,” Mr Perrett said.

CLICK HERE: 3 businesses lining up every day for $1 billion Gympie Bypass work

Transport Minister Mark Bailey said Mr Perrett knew full well shovels would be in the ground in about two months, and that a local business had already won the contract to install koala fencing ahead of the project (see story P12).

Tony Perrett
Tony Perrett

“Local businesses, contractors, and subcontractors need to be linked into the project,” Mr Perrett said.

“We are not creating something new here. The project should be shovel ready and the department has already been seeking ­interest from locals who want to be considered.

The end of Section C and starting point of Section D (Gympie Bypass) of the Bruce Highway.
The end of Section C and starting point of Section D (Gympie Bypass) of the Bruce Highway.

“Last December it said it had established a dedicated industry register specifically for the Section D: Woondum-to-Curra project.

“It is designed to help local business have the best opportunity to become involved.

“At that time, more than 80 of our region’s businesses had signed on to the unique venture. Businesses, including accommodation, traffic management, subcontracting, labour hire, equipment or plant hire, restaurants or catering, and civil construction parts or service providers, were encouraged to register.

Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey
Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey

“They need to be seriously considered for work,” Mr Perrett said.

“The construction of the bypass is expected to take a number of years, which will clearly help to revitalise our local economy and provide jobs. There can be no excuses for any delay.

“Two years ago, in April 2018, the Federal Government committed its $800 million share of the project.

“It is designed to help local business have the best opportunity to become involved.

Bruce Highway Upgrade Cooroy to Curra. Section D: Woondum to Curra Map 1
Bruce Highway Upgrade Cooroy to Curra. Section D: Woondum to Curra Map 1

“The minister said in January the $1 billion project would start this year and is expected to provide 576 jobs.

“An essential component of the reopening of regional economies is the provision of vital infrastructure and supporting local businesses to do what they do best.”

“There is no better way to help get things moving again than starting now.”

Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey said Mr Perrett was well aware shovels were hitting the ground on the upgrade “in just a couple of months’ time”.

“He only needs to look at today’s story on The Gympie Times website (Gympie’s $3m highway gift to koalas) to know that we’re getting on with the job, and to look at many past editions of The Gympie Times to know that works will start mid-2020,” Mr Bailey said.

“It’s the Palaszczuk Labor Government that started and completed Bruce Highway upgrades at Section C, completed Section A and is gearing up local businesses to help build Section D,” he said.

“In fact, local businesses are already taking part in the project. Local company Ford Brothers Fencing has been tapped on the shoulder to install koala fencing, supporting 10 local jobs in the process.

“Perhaps Mr Perrett could avoid the partisan petty political attacks people hate and for once in his life congratulate the Palaszczuk Labor Government for investing in the Gympie Bypass and working collaboratively with the Federal Government to get it done.

“We may however see snow fall in Gympie before that happens.”

Map of full Bruce Highway and Gympie Bypass.
Map of full Bruce Highway and Gympie Bypass.

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Bruce Highway Upgrade Cooroy to Curra - Gympie interchange
Bruce Highway Upgrade Cooroy to Curra - Gympie interchange