General News

11 July, 2024

$700m for a second Bribie Island bridge

THE news last week that the State Government has committed $700 million to duplicate a bridge to Bribe Island has incensed LNP candidate for Cook David Kempton.

$700m for a second Bribie Island bridge - feature photo

The existing Bribie Island bridge was constructed in 1963 and consists of two traffic lanes and a narrow pedestrian pathway.

While a business case for the new Bribie Island bridge is yet to be concluded, last week Premier Steven Miles gave a commitment that if Labor was re-elected in October, his government would spend $700 million in new borrowings to fund the project.

The government allocated $15 million in this year’s budget to complete the business case for the Barron River bridge at Kuranda but has yet to commit more funds for a new structure.

This has incensed Mr Kempton who has accused the Premier Miles of “vote buying in the southeast” while ignoring the increasing calls for a plan to restore the community’s faith in the Barron River bridge.

“As the Miles Labor Government splashes $700m on a bridge that simply makes it easier for Bribie Island residents to access the mainland, spare a thought for the tens of thousands who rely on the Barron River Bridge,” he said.

“The bridge at Kuranda is a critical link not only between Cairns and the Tablelands but also for the thousands of people from the Cook who rely on the bridge daily as a vital link for transport, medical appointments, employment, services shopping and to catch airflights south and so on.

“The State have known for some time the bridge is failing and the response has been to restrict traffic severely disrupting travel times down the range.

“More and longer restrictions lay ahead as the situation worsens. Ultimately, unless urgent action is taken, the bridge will be closed to traffic.”

Mr Kempton has called on the State Government to release the report, so the public can be aware of the true status of the bridge.

He said that if a LNP government was elected in October, his party would release the TMR report into the condition of the bridge, consult with regional councils, stakeholders and the Federal Government and come up with a plan to fix the bridge.

“The Labor Minister for Transport, Bart Mellish, along with Craig Crawford and Cynthia Lui, have turned their backs on the north with no plan, no funds and no ideas when it comes to repairing this critical infrastructure,” Mr Kempton claimed.

“Craig Crawford and his Labor Government have known for years of the deteriorating state of the bridge yet have failed to act.”


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