Minister told of highway tragedies

ACTION to put an end to the carnage on the old section of the Bruce Hwy immediately south of Gympie moved a step closer this week following a meeting between Gympie's top ambulance office and Gympie Regional councillor Wayne Sachs, Transport Minister Scott Emerson and David Gibson MP.

Mr Gibson yesterday described the meeting as "very positive" and said it was clear "there is a genuine desire to fix the problems that we face on the Bruce Hwy between Traveston Crossing and the Gold Nugget service station".

"We were given a comprehensive hearing and the minister showed strong interest in wanting to examine options to fix the problems," Mr Gibson said.

"Everyone understood that the approach of fast tracking the work on Section D to complete the bypass is reliant on the Federal Government and Cr Sachs is arranging a time to discuss this with the Federal Minister for Roads and Member for Wide Bay Warren Truss MP in the near future," he said.

"However that doesn't mean we can't consider some action now to address the current problems on that section of Bruce Hwy.

"As the local member, the minister has asked that I take the next step to meet with all stakeholders and regional office representatives to consider all options that could provide improved road safety and I hope to be conducting these meetings within the next few weeks."

Cr Sachs said he was hopeful there would be a positive outcome from the discussion that lasted about 30 minutes.

"The minister was very open, frank and honest in his dialogue," he said.

"Although there was no final commitment at this stage, he demonstrated that he would do everything he possibly could, where practicable, to stop the carnage.

"It was clear that the minister was keen to see some interim measures implemented for a safer highway between Traveston Rd and Keefton Rd (the Gold Nugget), after all feasible options had been explored and I look forward to working with David Gibson to achieve this.

"If this comes to fruition, then that is the best possible outcome we could have wanted from the State at this point, the next step was convincing Minister Emerson's federal counterpart, Mr Truss, to fast-track Sections C and D, when I meet with him in the near future."

Cr Sachs said he was grateful to Mr Gibson for facilitating the meeting, in order to present a human side to this tragic situation, from his experience as an ambulance officer with 40 years service.