Truckie Dave Marsh says the Bruce Hwy should be a priority in the upcoming federal budget.
Truckie Dave Marsh says the Bruce Hwy should be a priority in the upcoming federal budget. Chris Chan

Council hopes for roundabout funding from budget

GLADSTONE Regional Council is banking on cash for three priority projects when the Federal Budget is handed down next week. 

Deputy Mayor Matt Burnett is confident funding will be included to fix the Kin Kora roundabout.

"The Federal Government has never let us down," Cr Burnett said. "I'm confident there'll be money in there for it."

He said he raised funding issues with Deputy Prime Minister and Treasurer Wayne Swan on his recent visit to central Queensland.

Cr Burnett said the roundabout must be fixed so Stockland could be expanded.

"We have had federal funding for Gladstone roads before, including Kirkwood Rd, and because it's on the Dawson Highway, it can be funded federally," Cr Burnett said.

"The State Government doesn't have the money to do it and this is what's holding up the development of Stockland."

Cr Burnett also expects funding for the Benaraby junction and development of the Phillip Street precinct.

"We hope some of the 4 billion allocated for the Bruce Highway will include the junction," he said.

"We're very happy with the outcome at the Calliope crossroad but we need something done now at Benaraby.

"It's far too dangerous."

While it may not receive cash on the day, Cr Burnett hopes to apply for a Regional Development Australia grant to further the Philip Street precinct, a community hub and neighbourhood centre.

"As part of the budget, money will be allocated to RDA."

Cr Burnett said development of the Port Access Road would eventually be needed but it wasn't a current priority.

"At the moment, I don't want to see the government allocating money away from the roundabout and the Benaraby junction."

Cr Burnett said the council was also hoping to see funding for projects in other parts of the region, including Fingerboard Rd and a second bridge over the Boyne River.

Mr Swan will hand down the budget on Tuesday, and the government has flagged funds will be tight.

Priorities:

1. Kin Kora roundabout

2. Benaraby junction

3. Philip St precinct

Bruce Hwy needs to be a priority for Federal Government: truckie

TRUCK driver Dave Marsh spends more time driving on the Bruce Highway than most. And he said he had had enough.

Mr Marsh said the highway should be a priority in Tuesday's Federal budget.

There's already been a $4 billion commitment from the Gillard government to upgrade parts of the Bruce Hwy.

But Mr Marsh said repair jobs kept being done on the cheap.

"I went over a new surface on Monday near Miriam Vale," he said. "On the way back, there were already potholes in it."

"Even in a 42-tonne truck, you bounce across, there's that little bitumen on some of the surfaces."

In the past two years, Mr Marsh has noticed an increase in heavy vehicles on the roads.

"The road can't take the weight," he said.

Mr Marsh said most drivers had given up hope it would ever get fixed.

"There's continuous chit chat on the radio about it," he said. "The whole lot has got to get done."



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