ROAD AHEAD: Independent candidate Margaret Strelow says the Rockhampton Ring Road and Capricorn Highway need a State Government commitment. Pictured: Traffic backs up on the Capricorn Highway between Rockhampton and Gracemere after a car crashed into a power pole.
ROAD AHEAD: Independent candidate Margaret Strelow says the Rockhampton Ring Road and Capricorn Highway need a State Government commitment. Pictured: Traffic backs up on the Capricorn Highway between Rockhampton and Gracemere after a car crashed into a power pole. Chris Ison ROK060916ccrash1

All roads should lead to Rocky: Major parties bypass region

INDEPEDENT candidate Margaret Strelow has taken aim at major political parties with claims they are "out of touch” with Rockhampton's interests.

The mayor-turned-candidate conceded Labor's $1 billion plan to fix the Bruce Highway would usually warrant a cheer, but believes vital CQ and Central West links have been overlooked in favour of the north and south.

Independent candidate for Rockhampton Margaret Strelow.
Independent candidate for Rockhampton Margaret Strelow. Allan Reinikka ROK061117astrelow

Ms Strelow said the Rockhampton western bypass took a back seat to Townsville's and a project in the south-east on the Future-proofing the Bruce trust list, which have been brought forward.

The project - known as the Rockhampton Ring Road - sits on a 15-year-list of projects in the contribution to economic growth and productivity category.

The proposed route for a western bypass at Rockhampton.
The proposed route for a western bypass at Rockhampton.

"Surprise surprise,” Ms Strelow said.

The Ring Road was identified for planning and corridor preservation in the Queensland Government Bruce Highway Upgrade Strategy July 2011.

Ms Strelow also turned her attention to a shock report which found more than one third of the Capricorn Highway failed a safety test, according to the RACQ.

The motoring body called for funding to fix more than 570km of the major western link, with findings areas were at high risk for a head-on, run off-road and intersection crashes.

It also found areas with high-speed undivided roads with narrow shoulders and hazards such as trees located close to the roadside.

TWO STAR ROAD: The Capricorn Highway has been issued with a dire crash safety rating.
TWO STAR ROAD: The Capricorn Highway has been issued with a dire crash safety rating. Contributed

Ms Strelow said the road is "vital to Rockhampton's economic health” and is the lifeline between the city and coal and agriculture of the Central West.

She deemed the highway in a "perilous state” and called for an "equal commitment” to upgrade it.

"We have seen enough deaths on this horror highway and I will make sure that it is front and centre of the coming State Parliament,” she said.

Ms Strelow's commitment comes directly in the wake of her shock decision to run for the seat of Rockhampton after an unsuccessful bid during Labor pre-selection.



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