Call for action: Roads cause damage to produce and animals
DAMAGED produce and animal welfare concerns are causing freight carriers to avoid our region's roads and bridges.
The Mundubbera to Jandowae Roads Working Group is campaigning Flynn candidates to make election commitments to fund a new bridge over the Boyne River to improve safety.
The State Government has advised a cost currently estimated at $20 million to replace the flood-prone John Peterson Bridge on the Mundubbera Durong Rd, which plays a vital connecting link for residents, tourists and strategic freight across the North and South Burnett to local and export markets.
Roads Working Group chair Georgie Somerset said the bridge and the Mundubbera to Jandowae route needed to be upgraded for economic benefit and to ensure an effective inland transport link during natural disasters.
"The replacement of the John Peterson Bridge has been identified as a high priority for both North and South Burnett Councils and the wider Wide Bay Burnett Regional Organisation of Councils,” Ms Somerset said.
"More than 2000 road users having signed a petition calling for road upgrades and improvements, and the bridge over the Boyne River is a strategic piece of infrastructure that urgently needs to be upgraded with increasing numbers of freight and tourist traffic using this route.”
Ms Somerset said surveys found freight companies avoided using the Mundubbera Durong Rd and Chinchilla Wondai Rd due to damage caused to equipment, fresh produce and animal welfare concerns related to the condition of the roads.
"This should raise alarms for governments at all levels,” she said.
"Mundubbera Durong Rd is a main thoroughfare that carries thousands of heavy vehicles laden with cattle, timber and grain on a weekly basis. The road is the main inland thoroughfare connecting the Western Downs with Rockhampton.
"Queensland's future economic growth will be built on the ability to move freight to support the resources, agriculture, construction and tourism sectors. An efficient freight system will provide the backbone for facilitating this growth and connecting our regional communities.”
State Minister for Transport and Main Roads Mark Bailey confirmed the cost to replace the existing low-level timber bridge with a new high-level reinforced concrete bridge was estimated at $20 million, if constructed immediately.
The Mundubbera to Jandowae Roads Working Group represents a great number of communities reliant on reliable transport.
Ms Somerset said the group remained hopeful the federal candidates in Flynn would commit to funding the bridge as part of their election commitments.
"We are committed to meeting with all the candidates to ensure they understand the importance of this bridge upgrade and strategic linkages and the economic and safety improvements any upgrades will contribute,” she said.