Chris Ison

Bruce Hwy action 'coming soon'

REGIONAL motorists affected by the dire state of the Bruce Hwy will begin to see some action with the appointment of a Crisis Management Action Group.

The group's membership includes the heads of the RACQ, Queensland Police traffic support branch and Queensland Trucking Association as well as Leader of the Nationals and federal Member for Wide Bay Warren Truss.

Mr Truss was appointed to the group by the Queensland Government after he and a handful of other Queensland MPs started their own Bruce Hwy Action Group following the 2010 federal election.

Going into the LNP's action group, which has the arduous task of prioritising individual upgrade projects to fix the troublesome highway in 10 years, Mr Truss has pinpointed what he believes are highway priorities.

The four-lane expansion and upgrade north of Cooroy will be high on Mr Truss's agenda.

He expects fixing the flood prone sections would be an overall priority, including the Yeppen Flood Plain crossing near Rockhampton, the cross roads intersection near Gladstone and bypasses for Mackay and Townsville.

"It is great to have a State Government taking a positive approach to the Bruce Hwy, which is the first in a very, very long time," he said.

Premier Campbell Newman said much needed work on the highway included not only flood immunity works, but "increased overtaking lanes, more rest areas, better road safety and duplication projects".

Minister for Transport Scott Emerson, Minister for Local Government David Crisafulli, Herbet MP Ewen Jones, Leichhardt MP Warren Entsch and Deputy Premier Jeff Seeney are also members of the crisis management group.

Three local government councillors will be added to the group after the April 28 local government elections.

Once the team prioritises the "shovel-ready" highway projects, they will take their 10-year plan to Canberra to fight for funding.

The LNP Government have committed $1 billion to the highway on the basis the Federal Government steps up funding.

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