MP pleads 'fix our roads before fatality'
OUR veins and arteries are under attack and not being looked after. That's the message Warrego MP Ann Leahy is sending to Queensland Parliament about the roads in her region.
Ms Leahy delivered an impassioned plea for the Palaszczuck Government to stop neglecting the rural roads of Southwest Queensland, warning a fatal accident is all but inevitable.
"My electorate is larger than the state of Victoria, and in that there are a lot of roads in desperate need of attention,” she told NewsCorp.
"Our roads are our veins and our arteries, and we know what happens if they are not looked after. There is a fatal accident waiting to happen.
"We have roads that need widening, many rural roads are also school bus routes, and that should help us prioritise which roads need upgrading.”
According to Ms Leahy, the Auditor General's report on the Department of Transport and Main Roads forecasts a renewal backlog in excess of $9billion in the next decade.
"This puts the sustainability of the transport network at risk. That is about three dual carriageway roads from Brisbane to Perth that are not being built in this state,” she said.
"We produce a massive amount of revenue for state government... and I will keep on fighting to get our fair share and our voices heard.
"There should be more projects happening like widening Mitchell-St George, Meandarra to Westmar, Jackson to Wandoan and getting Wyandra to Charleville to 110km/h.
"This is also about upgrading roads that enable us to ensure economic activity is supported across the region.”
Previously, the Mitchell to St George Rd has been instrumental during times of drought, as it allowed the transport of stock by way of B-doubles.
"It's about having roads that enable us to ensure the economic activity is supported across the region as well,” Ms Leahy said.
"Take Auburn Rd in Chinchilla. Main Roads have said you can't take B-double trucks on this road. It costs people an extra $1000 to go around the road to get their stock to sale.
"This is money that could be spent on stock or feed. It's about getting roads widened and allowing activity and savings that will help our industry.”
Ms Leahy told The Star she was also concerned about the speed limits imposed on some stretches in the Warrego region.
"The stretch of the Warrego Highway between Chinchilla and Dalby was 110km/h prior to it's widening. This road is now safer than it was before with passing lanes and we haven't fixed that speed limit,” she said.
"There are people who still drive at 110km/h on that road who are inadvertently caught with traffic fines.
"It's a similar situation on the stretch of road between St George and Surat. This has been widened significantly and has not been put up to 110km/h
"In our regions, we have to drive long distances. So if they can get to their destination a bit quicker, they won't be as fatigued. I think we tend to create fatigue.”
Ms Leahy also mentioned the need to upgrade intersections, such as the Mitchell/Landsborough Highways intersection at Augathella.
"I have stood on that intersection when you have triple roadtrains, caravans and cars crossing at that intersection,” she said.
"Main Roads have said it's not a priority. It's $3million to fix and it just needs to be fixed.
"It's a fatal accident waiting to happen.”