BRIDGING THE GAP: Queensland LNP Deputy Leader Deb Frecklington and Gympie MP Tony Perrett at the Coondoo Creek bridge.
BRIDGING THE GAP: Queensland LNP Deputy Leader Deb Frecklington and Gympie MP Tony Perrett at the Coondoo Creek bridge. Jacob Carson

Vital Gympie bridge part of $80 million election promise

THE LNP is betting big on bridges to help secure a win at the upcoming election, with a major Gympie Region thoroughfare in the spotlight.

Tin Can Bay Rd is the main access point to and from the Cooloola Coast, and there are big plans for the bridge crossing Coondoo Creek.

"I'm announcing the LNP's $80 million Better Bridges Program,” Queensland's LNP Deputy Leader Deb Frecklington said yesterday.

"These are bridges across the state we can fix up and realign.”

Flood mitigation and road safety along the bridge are major concerns for Gympie MP Tony Perrett, who appeared with Ms Frecklington at the announcement.

"It's a single lane highway that runs straight into the Cooloola Coast ... it's really the only way there from Gympie,” Mr Perrett said.

"It often gets cut in floodwaters, it's important that this arterial road is improved.”

With the Cooloola Coast enjoying increasing tourism numbers, ensuring the ongoing sustainability of the bridge is vital.

"It becomes very difficult when this bridge gets cut in times of flood,” Mr Perrett said.

"If there's a cyclone, a low or if Fraser Island needs evacuation, people are effectively stranded.”

The project would extend the height of the bridge to three metres, buffering it from everything but a once-in-50-years flood event.

Another key aspect of the program Ms Frecklington and Mr Perrett were keen to emphasise was the economic benefits it would bring to the region.

"We want to make sure our local business people and contractors can get a piece of the action as well,” Ms Frecklington said.

"Regional Queensland residents have suffered from a lack of new infrastructure projects for too long under Annastacia Palaszczuk.

"Alarmingly, there is a jobs crisis in regional Queensland, with the unemployment rate in some parts of the state nudging 60 per cent.”

Ten other bridge projects across the state, including the Sunshine Coast, were announced.