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Highway upgrade priority one topic

DANGEROUS: A truck on the Bruce Hwy near Ingham.
DANGEROUS: A truck on the Bruce Hwy near Ingham.

THE state of the Bruce Hwy in Queensland is a major concern for truckies.

It starts in Brisbane and passes through areas close to the eastern coast to Cairns in far north Queensland.

The route is a part of the Australian National Highway network and also part of Highway 1.

Its length is approximately 1700 kilometres and it is entirely sealed with bitumen.

Most drivers interviewed by Big Rigs during the past year rated many sections of the highway dangerous and in need of an upgrade.

Both the Federal and State Governments have promised to fix the highway but the prohibitive costs involved means that could take decades.

Townsville-based Federal Member for Herbert Ewen Jones attended the first official meeting of the Bruce Highway Crisis Management Group held in Brisbane on June 14.

Mr Jones said that in coming weeks his LNP colleagues would be trekking the length of the Bruce Hwy to meet with local communities along the way and listen to their concerns and what they believe are the priorities.

"The state of the Bruce Hwy is a major concern for residents in Townsville. The LNP knows it is a priority and we are committed to fixing it in government. The meeting spoke of two levels of concern: safety and flood proofing. I made the point that both are a priority here in north Queensland. There is little sense building overtaking lanes if the road is a metre under water," Mr Jones said.

The group includes elected representatives from local, state and federal levels.

Mr Jones said hundreds of residents had commented about the poor state of the highway in the "biggest survey" sent to every household in Townsville during April.

"I am still reading through the responses but overwhelmingly the Bruce Hwy rates as one of the biggest issues for residents. It is simply unacceptable that as a major regional city we are cut off from the rest of Australia during the wet season.

"We deserve a fair share of funding for our roads in the north," he said.

Topics:  bruce highway

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