State budget ignored dangerous, vital Cooloola Coast link
THE State Labor Government has been told to stop blaming Canberra and urgently fix the Coondoo Creek Bridge.
Member for Gympie Tony Perrett said in State Parliament this week the bridge upgrade was ignored in the state budget and Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey was trying to shift the blame on to the Federal Government.
"The bridge is so unsafe that the speed limit has been dropped to 60km an hour on an open highway,” Mr Perrett said.
"This cannot be sustained for years and neglecting to include funds for the upgrade in the Budget is simply stupid and unwise.
"The upgrade is critical to improving motorist safety and boosting flood immunity for the region.
"Last year when I announced an LNP commitment of $10 million to upgrade the bridge and approaches on Tin Can Bay Road to a 1-in-50 year flood height immunity the local ALP branch spokesman Dan Stewart said that "the bridge will be built”.
"He deliberately let the Gympie electorate believe it was on the government's radar.
"Despite those misleading and sneaky claims there is nothing in the Budget, and the Minister has now tried to shift responsibility onto Canberra.
"After representations from me to deliver the promise the Minister wrote to me trying to dodge the state's obligations saying Queensland was unsuccessful in securing funds for the upgrade from the Federal Government's Bridges Renewal Program.
"Anyone would welcome the windfall if someone else picked up the tab - but ultimately funding responsibility stops at the Minister's desk, not Canberra.
"Let's be very clear this type of project is not funded by Canberra.
"This is not a game of monopoly and the unsuccessful application is not a "Get out of Jail” for free card.
"It is a lazy cop out to pretend that because the Federal Government is not paying, you do not have to do a thing.
"The state does not score a free pass to sidestep its responsibility.
"Minister front up with the funds and fix this bridge,” he said.