Retired General Peter Cosgrove addresses the crowd at the Westpac Agribusiness forum in Kershaw House, Rockhampton.
Retired General Peter Cosgrove addresses the crowd at the Westpac Agribusiness forum in Kershaw House, Rockhampton. Daniel Burdon

Get real on road work: Cosgrove

FLOOD-PROOFING Central Queensland roads such as the Bruce Highway was an "admirable objective", but might not be a realistic target.

That was according to retired General Peter Cosgrove, who led the re-building effort in 2005 after Cyclone Larry.

Gen Cosgrove yesterday addressed an agribusiness conference in Rockhampton.

He said "flood-proofing" essential arterial roads and supply routes for regional Central Queensland, and Australia, was something of essential importance for the country to be prepared for natural disasters.

But he said that it was not realistic to improve roads all over the regional Queensland due to the sheer scale and cost of such an infrastructure project.

Gen Cosgrove said: "We are talking about Queensland here, one of Australia's largest states and certainly an area bigger than many European countries.

"So I don't think it's realistic to talk about flood-proofing entire highways, but we do need to look at particular points, where roads meet flood-plains, or air strips and rail lines, that do need to be improved."

Gen Cosgrove also spoke about the need to keep those in power informed and accountable about taking action to re-build after natural disasters.

He said: "I think when a natural disaster hits, it is all over the news and everybody knows about it.

"But a few days later, or a week or a month later, the television cameras eventually go away.

"So I think, particularly for regional areas, it is a challenge, for local leaders and the state leaders, but people need to keep challenging why something is or isn't happening to ensure a full recovery and preparedness in the future," the general said.



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