RACQ demands urgent start on Gympie bypass
QUEENSLAND'S main motoring body is calling on the State Government to put construction of the long-awaited Gympie bypass in the fast lane.
The RACQ is calling for the $1 billion project to be accelerated as part of a wider push for the Queensland Government to "put its money where its mouth is" on road safety ahead of next week's budget.
Delivery of the bypass has become a point of contention between the federal and state governments.
A Transport and Main Roads spokeswoman said the business case still needed to be approved by Infrastructure Australia.
Wide Bay MP Llew O'Brien said the Federal Government could not dictate the capital works schedule on a state-managed project.
Now, the RACQ wants the project accelerated as part of its proposed suite of "priority transport projects".
And it says it is not the only roadwork needed in the region.
"Funding for the delivery of Stage D of Cooroy to Curra has already been committed but more is required to the north of this area," RACQ head of public policy Rebecca Michael said.
"That's why we're calling for safety upgrades on the Bruce Highway, including the installation of overtaking lanes and road duplication where it's necessary."
Fast-tracked work on the $107 million Tiaro Flood Immunity project was on the list too as part of the wider Bruce Highway Upgrade Program.
The flood project is presently in the planning stages.
A January press release from the Department of Infrastructure said the project was eyeing a 2021 ground-breaking.
Dr Michaels hopes this time frame can be brought forward.
"The Tiaro Flood Immunity project is important for the region as we know roads like the Bruce Highway play a critical role for communities during flood events,'' she said.
"We know these projects will help save lives and improve livelihoods so we'd like to see them delivered sooner rather than later."
Transport Minister Mark Bailey's office has been contacted about the status of these works and the timing around the bypass delivery.
Gympie MP Tony Perrett welcomed the motoring body's pitch.
"They're spot on,'' he said.
"There's an enormous amount of frustration around this.''