Petition to flood-proof our roads

TIME TO SIGN: Bridget Middleton and her son Oliver Boldiston with the newly launched petition to floodproof the Bruce Highway between Proserpine and Mackay.
TIME TO SIGN: Bridget Middleton and her son Oliver Boldiston with the newly launched petition to floodproof the Bruce Highway between Proserpine and Mackay.

WHITSUNDAY resident Bridget Middleton has mounted a campaign to flood-proof the region's roads. On Monday Ms Middleton launched a petition, calling for immediate upgrades to the Goorganga Plains section of the Bruce Highway and the Hamilton Plains section of Shute Harbour Road.

The move comes just over a year after Ms Middleton's partner Scott Boldiston was almost killed in a swiftwater incident on the Bruce Highway at Goorganga Plains. Mr Boldiston was driving to work at about 4am on January 19, 2011, when his car was washed off the road into rising floodwaters after a software malfunction caused the site's flood-warning lights to fail.

Ms Middleton says while the lights have been fixed the fundamental problem remains.

"I wrote letters to [the department of transport and] Main Roads [TMR], I went to see Jan Jarratt and I just feel that a year later they haven't done anything," Ms Middleton said.

"Every year, our community endures rains and floods, and every year, we are promised upgrades by all three branches of government - Local, State and Federal. And yet despite this, every year we're left with nothing more than broken promises," she said.

A spokesperson from the department said the flood-warning lights at Goorganga Plains had not malfunctioned since Mr Boldiston's accident and that the department was "committed to ensuring the Bruce Highway in the Mackay/Whitsunday Region is safe and efficient".

"The department has identified the upgrading of bridges and approaches at Goorganga Plains as a key priority as part of the Bruce Highway upgrade strategy," the spokesperson said.

Meanwhile Ms Middleton plans to submit the petition to North Queensland-based Senators Ian MacDonald and Jan McLucas, the Federal Member for Dawson, George Christensen, State Member for Whitsunday, Jan Jarratt and candidates for the forthcoming state government election.

The petition is available at various locations in Proserpine and Cannonvale including Proserpine News, Cherrie Baby boutique and Proserpine Pharmacy. For more information phone 4945 5500.



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