Hervey Bay Hospital.
Hervey Bay Hospital. Valerie Horton

Petition for road upgrade won't fix funding issue

KEEPING one causeway dry during floods could save lives.

That's the view of the Howard and District Progress Association and nearly 600 people who signed a petition tabled in Queensland Parliament.

Association president Kate Niblett said, during floods, the road was a key connection between the Hervey Bay hospital and the rest of the Fraser Coast.

But despite the local support, the assistance of Maryborough LNP MP Anne Maddern and the department recognising it as a "future priority", the causeway will not be upgraded.

In a response to the petition Transport Minister Scott Emerson said the State Government couldn't afford to upgrade the causeway.

"The Department of Transport and Main Roads has advised it has identified the need to upgrade this floodway as a future priority," Mr Emerson said.

"However, unfortunately in the current budget constrained environment, the construction of the project is unable to be accommodated within the funds available to TMR.

"As the state's fiscal situation improves, the merit of funding the works will be considered against other competing priorities for available state funds in the development of future Queensland Transport and Roads Investment Programs."

A spokeswoman for the minister said the upgrade would cost $1.05 million to upgrade the causeway.

Mrs Niblett said she remained confident the causeway would see be upgraded sooner rather than later.

"I am fairly confident come the election it will be on the agenda," she said.

"We are not asking for a whole new road, we're just asking for the draining of a causeway to be improved. It doesn't take a lot for it to go under and it's a key road in our area."

- APN NEWSDESK



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