How Bruce Hwy expansion could benefit growing prawn farm
WITH up to 150 trucks travelling in and out of Tassal's Proserpine prawn farm every month, a wider Bruce Highway could enhance both efficiency and safety.
This is the belief of Tassal Proserpine prawn farm commercial manager David Wood who shared his thoughts on the LNP's plan to expand the highway to four lanes during a visit from Opposition Leader Deb Frecklington today.
"With the amount of truck movement getting feed in and getting product out," he said.
"It's a positive thing to ensure we have an efficient supply chain and safe road environment for staff to get to work."
Ms Frecklington visited the farm this morning with LNP candidate for Whitsunday Amanda Camm to spruik the party's $33 billion plan to upgrade the Bruce Highway to four lanes from Cairns and Curra if elected.
The farm, situated north of Proserpine, is already the largest prawn facility in Australia and it is set to get even bigger as works continue on its $85 million expansion.
Ms Camm said the Bruce Highway project would boost job security in the region and help support tourism.
"To be able to access all along our great state of Queensland and make the Whitsundays more accessible to all of those people out caravanning and holidaying at home," she said.
Ms Frecklington said workers from the Whitsunday area would benefit from the 100,000 jobs expected to be created across the 15-year lifespan of the project.
"This project will be on the basis that we will be using local contractors," she said.
"We will be making sure that in the areas that are the focus of the upgrades and the duplication we will be using local contractors as best as we can."
Ms Frecklington said the project would also boost safety, as 16 people had been killed on Mackay-Whitsunday roads this year so far.
"We must put an end to these crashes, we must save people's lives," she said.
"We must target those high-risk areas, those high flood zone areas like the Goorganga Plains.
"When the Bruce is cut and the major national arterial is cut, then jobs are at risk.
"Not only is this Queensland's biggest job creation project … it's also a project that keeps businesses like Tassal, Australia's largest prawn farm based right here in North Queensland, it keeps them going."
Ms Frecklington earlier this week announced the Bruce Highway election promise.
She committed the LNP government to more than double the state's annual spending on the highway from $200 million to $440 million, or $6.6 billion over 15 years, and seek a long-term deal with the Federal Government under the traditional 80:20 funding split for the national network.