Federal MPs offer to help Palaszcuk widen the Bruce

FEDERAL Coalition politicians have written to Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk seeking a partnership on funding for the widening of the Bruce Hwy north from Caboolture to the Sunshine Coast to six lanes.

The plea follows the official launch last week - by Stockland and State Planning Minister Jackie Trad - of the 50,000 population Caloundra South development to be known as Aura.

The letter to Ms Palaszczuk was also sent to state MPs north of Brisbane, seeking their support.

A spokesman for the Premier said Ms Palaszczuk would consider the content of the letter when she returned from an overseas trade mission this weekend.

Peter Dutton (Dickson), Luke Howarth (Petrie), Wyatt Roy (Longman), Mal Brough (Fisher) and Queensland Liberal Senator James McGrath have asked the Premier to endorse their Boost the Bruce plan "as the number one major south-east Queensland road infrastructure project". That would put the project in competition with the desperately needed high-speed rail link between Nambour and Brisbane.

The MPs made it clear a federal-state partnership was crucial to making the improvements a reality.

"The Federal and Queensland governments have a unique opportunity to deliver a far more efficient - and economy boosting - Bruce Highway," they said in their letter.

"But it will only happen by working together to find the financial resources."

The letter says hundreds of thousands of daily commuters travel the Bruce Hwy between the Sunshine Coast and Brisbane's Gateway Motorway-Deagon Deviation.

"These motorists experience major congestion, significantly impacting productivity and freight movement as well as the Coast's tourism potential," the letter states.

In a key first step, $8 million has already been secured to fund planning for priority upgrade works - the Federal Government committing $6.4 million and the Queensland Government $1.6 million.

As well as widening the carriageway, the planning and design options will consider upgrading the Gateway Motorway from Deagon Deviation to the Bruce Hwy - another bottleneck - and fixing well-known flood-prone spots on the highway between Caboolture and Beerburrum, such as King John Creek, Lagoon Creek and Six Mile Creek.

The Coalition members have ramped up their Boost the Bruce campaign with a website featuring an online petition.

"The petition and the letter to the Premier are important developments," Mr Roy said. "Only by speaking up together can we truly capture this opportunity to boost the Bruce."

The MPs want the public to help lobby their Commonwealth colleagues and the State Government for funding by signing the petition at http://www.boostthebruce.com.au.


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