The new high level Mary River bridge at Traveston Crossing is linked to the current Bruce Hwy upgrade section, not due for completion for four years
The new high level Mary River bridge at Traveston Crossing is linked to the current Bruce Hwy upgrade section, not due for completion for four years Craig Warhurst

We are the forgotten community

THE State Government yesterday announced nearly 1000 major infrastructure projects for Queensland and 102 for Gympie's Wide Bay Burnett neighbourhood - all listed in its new Queensland Infrastructure Plan.

But there were no new announcements for the Gympie Region and, for existing projects such as the Bruce Hwy; the news is more a postponement than anything positive.

Disappointment awaits Gympie Region residents, visitors, business operators, investors and property owners looking at the plan for fast action on anything.

Gympie is mentioned 15 times in the plan, but a significant proportion of these mentions occur in maps, photographic illustrations and references to roads such as Gympie Rd near Brisbane and Old Gympie Rd at Kallangur.

For us, the announcement is focused almost entirely on re-announcements of the Bruce Hwy upgrade, but the only new information in those mentions is that even the current stage of that project will not be completed for years.

Further upgrades to complete the by-pass of Gympie to Curra will not even get started for another 10 years, with the prospect that a significant proportion of current Gympie residents will never live to see them.

Mayor Ron Dyne agreed that the plan seemed to have very little relevance to Gympie, with the exception of the Bruce Hwy.

"And that's out for years," he said.

However, he said he wanted to make a closer study of the documents overnight.

The plan does acknowledge the population pressures which are behind the need for much of the state's planned infrastructure rebuild.

"The population of Wide Bay Burnett is projected to increase by about 130,000 people in the next 20 years," it says.

"The major centres of Bundaberg, Maryborough, Hervey Bay and Gympie will predominantly share this growth," the Infrastructure Plan says in its "Regional Snapshot" chapter.

New schools announced in the plan do not appear to be in Gympie Region.

Hospital upgrades are for Maryborough and Hervey Bay hospitals.

The current Section B of the Cooroy to Curra highway upgrade will be delivered "over the next four years," with the rest not even started until after 2021, the plan says.

Infrastructure Plan

  • 1000 major projects for Queensland
  • Nothing new for Gympie Region
  • Completion of current Bruce Hwy upgrade project (Sankeys Rd to Traveston) not due for another four years
  • The rest of the highway by-pass to Curra not expected to start for 10 years
  • Disappointment awaits Gympie Region residents, visitors, business operators, investors and property owners