Friday, 16 September 2011

After years of Beattie / Bligh neglect the residents have had enough

Cait Bester
Friday, September 16, 2011
© The Cairns Post

Cairns sisters set to walk Bruce Highway between Edmonton and Gordonvale to shame governments into action

In their fight to make politicians fix the Bruce Highway, Cairns sisters Tracy and Shiree Lucas will put their best foot forward to raise awareness.

Carrying white crosses, the sisters will walk from Edmonton to Gordonvale on September 24, in a bid to get more motorists behind them in their fight for a better Bruce Highway.

The sisters, whose brother Darren Lucas was killed in a crash on the Bruce Highway near Gympie, believe "people power" was the only way to get their message across. After a story in The Cairns Post last month, about the poor state of the highway, more than 2000 people have signed a petition demanding governments fast-track work to bring the highway up to standard.

"We’ve got the petition but now we want to make sure as many people as possible know about what we’re doing, so that’s why we’re going to walk along the Bruce Highway," Tracy said."We’re going to do whatever it takes until we get heard. "This walk is a starting point."
The sisters will place white crosses at Wrights Ck bridge, a section that had been labelled a "black spot", after several people had died in crashes on that section.

"We’ve decided to do this to get the attention of motorists – we hope the crosses will make an impact," Tracy said. Shiree said Federal and State governments had promised timeframes, stretching from five to 20 years to start fixing the Bruce Highway.

"How many more lives will be lost in the next 20 years? It’s not acceptable," she said.
Tracy and Shiree will leave Edmonton Mobil Service Station at 6.30am next Saturday or if you want to find out more information, phone 0428 124 185.
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It does not surprise me that residents have had enough after years of funding neglect of highway infrastructure. It is over 20 years since the last large expenditure of government money on roads in  Cairns and immediate surrounds. That was the duplication of the highway between Brinsmead and Redlynch which incidentally was planned by National Government.

The last expenditure of money on the Captain Cook highway was in the Joh years in the early 80's. The duplication of the Highway was to be continued to Palm Cove but was stoped at Kewarra Beach by the Goss Government in 1989.

It is not if the area has elected non government member as the region has been represented by government member for 22 years except for 2 years between 1996/98. No amount of Government spin by Craig Wallace the Minister of Main Roads will address years of neglect. What is needed is increased funding under a new funding formula. It is obvious that the existing funding formula disadvantages the Cairns' main roads district.

No wonder the congestion is becoming a nightmare. The bank up of traffic congestion during peak hours between Edmonton and Woree and between Redlynch and Smithfield is indicative of  years of Government neglect.

For these people the state election can not come quick enough. But it is imperative that a commitment of adequate funding be giving by the LNP long before the state election. The LNP must be held accountable as well.

Ross Parisi

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