Burdekin MP Dale Last. Picture: Evan Morgan
Burdekin MP Dale Last. Picture: Evan Morgan

‘People power’: MP welcomes money to fix horror highway

BURDEKIN MP Dale Last has welcomed a cash splash to upgrade the Peak Downs Highway, but says more work must be done to fix the “goat track”.

The highway will get $7.8 million in 2020-21 out of a $35 million total spend to strengthen and widen pavement between Wuthung Road and Caval Ridge Mine.

The project will be delivered in partnership with the Federal Government.

“Given the carnage we have seen on the Peak Downs Highway, I welcome every single dollar that is put into making that road safer,” Mr Last said.

“We need to be realistic and understand that what is budgeted is work on approximately 13km of a road that is 175km long.

“I would prefer to see much more but it is good to see Labor has finally realised that road is an issue.”

Mackay, Isaac and Whitsunday funding highlights in the 2020 Queensland budget.
Mackay, Isaac and Whitsunday funding highlights in the 2020 Queensland budget.

The Burdekin MP praised the “people power” shown by the community in for pushing the issue.

“Even when that part of the road is fixed, there’s still another 160km that needs attention so the campaign will continue,” he said.

Mr Last noted another big ticket item in the budget for his electorate, a new police station at Clermont, had no mention of actual funding.

“Talk is cheap and even planning for a new building costs money but there’s no money allocated,” he said.

“I sincerely hope the government isn’t trying to pull the wool over our eyes on that project.”

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Mirani MP Stephen Andrew said his communities “didn’t do too bad” out of the budget considering the State Government’s financial position.

Mr Andrew said he “absolutely” would have welcomed more money this financial year for the Sarina Hospital redevelopment, which was only allocated $655,000.

“I would love to have seen money allocated to (Sarina’s) Brewers Park as well,” he said.

“Even a million dollars would be plenty – they just keep overlooking it.”

Mackay, Isaac and Whitsunday funding highlights in the 2020 Queensland budget.
Mackay, Isaac and Whitsunday funding highlights in the 2020 Queensland budget.

Mackay MP Julieanne Gilbert said the funding given to the Sarina Hospital redevelopment this financial year was for planning purposes.

She said the region should be pleased with the outcome of the “sensible” budget.

“Everything that was going to be announced in the budget had been spoken about widely leading up to the state election,” Mrs Gilbert said.

“This is the only budget we’ve ever had in Queensland that’s endorsed by Queensland voters before it is tabled in Queensland Parliament.”

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