Key Maranoa stakeholders weigh in on Premier’s ‘2nd Bruce Hwy’
MARANOA mayor Tyson Golder has labelled the Labor government’s multi-billion dollar second Bruce Highway announcement as ‘nation-building infrastructure’.
Earlier this morning, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announcement on social media her plans for a ‘second Bruce Highway’ that would run from Charters Towers to Mungindi and through towns like Injune, Roma and St George.
“We welcome the announcement from the premier and I believe it will be a big increase for safety,” mayor Golder said.
“This is nation-building infrastructure that can only help to offer local benefit to our communities that are situated on that route.
“It will also have production advantages – when there’s congestions, all the freight takes longer and it’s more expensive, rather with this announcement they will be able to go from A to B in reasonable time.
“The terrain is generally a little better inland, there’s wider, open spaces and better than the coastal roads.”
Like Balonne Shire Mayor Samantha O’Toole noted, mayor Golder believes western local councils must lobby the state government to ensure local contractors and equipment are utilised and are “given local supply status”.
Deputy mayor Geoff McMullen said the proposed inland highway would provide advantages for the tourism and freight industries.
“This will definitely be a big benefit for us, it opens it to more tourists stopping at our roadhouses, pubs, motels and using the tyre companies,” he said.
“We have road transport coming through here and go right across to Goondiwindi.
“A lot of work needs to be done to reduce the traffic, we can see in town a lot of freight travelling around Taroom, Miles and they head down to Sydney.”
Similarly, key stakeholders in town believe southern travellers would take advantage of upgraded roads.
Charlie Eames from Roma Central Motel said it could entice domestic travel, especially after the affects of COVID-19.
“Any major infrastructure is great, but the devil will be in the detail,” he said.
“It will be important and beneficial for the southern states to travel north and an upgraded road will encourage domestic travel.
“It could also lead to more tourist buses coming up from the south.
“There’s also then opportunity for freight businesses to be based in Roma.”