Queensland Shadow Minister for Transport & Main Roads Fiona Simpson
Time For Blackbutt Range Solution
Victor P Taffa
The Blackbutt Range was severely damaged as a result of recent storms and an immediate priority had to be repair work to open both lanes to traffic, the State Opposition said today.
Shadow Minister for Transport and Main Roads Fiona Simpson has inspected the damaged range crossing which was recently partially opened and stressed now was the time to ‘bite the bullet’ and scope all options for the most cost effective solution to improve the safety and reliability of the road.
“All options deserve to be assessed as part of a proper planning exercise to seek funding from the Federal and State Governments, to build a safer, permanent solution.” Ms. Simpson said.
“The recent blocking of the Blackbutt Range has had a significant impact on locals getting to and from work, as well as for truck drivers being forced to take longer detours which in turn increased the cost of freight into the area.”
“Whilst meeting with South Burnett Regional Council Mayor David Carter to discuss the recent road closure, many local business people mentioned to me alternate alignments along old tracks which could be used as either emergency or permanent corridor solutions.” Ms. Simpson said.
“This road regularly experiences blockages with overturned trucks and other tragic accidents. The issues aren’t isolated to the extraordinary weather and action needs to be taken now.”
Ms. Simpson also heard from council and community members about other challenges locals and motorists faced with failing communication networks in the region.
“I was heartened to hear many wonderful stories of community spirit where locals responded to the needs of stranded motorists and gave them food, shelter and other help. However I heard too many familiar stories, happening far too often.”
“Timely and reliable information about whether roads were opened or closed was a great concern.” Ms. Simpson said.
“I was also told about Mobile Phone ‘Blackspots’ which exist in critical locations.”
“As well as a lack of signage warning motorists and trucks they were proceeding into areas where they could not easily turn around.” Ms. Simpson said.
“The list of very real concerns and complaints by locals is growing longer.”
“I would urge local commuters to write to local authorities as well myself in respect of where the road signage could be improved, particularly during emergencies. I can be contacted via email: firstname.lastname@example.org or by post: Suite 1, Corner First & Memorial Aves, Maroochydore, QLD, 4558.” Ms. Simpson said.