Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack. (AAP Image/Mick Tsikas)
Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack. (AAP Image/Mick Tsikas)

Deputy PM backs bypass, stands by rebel MP

DEPUTY Prime Minister Michael McCormack has defended member for Wide Bay Llew O'Brien, while also standing by a two-lane Tiaro bypass.

It comes after State Transport and Roads Minister Mark Bailey launched a stinging attack on Mr O'Brien, accusing the former police officer of having "no integrity".

Mr O'Brien again rejected a two-lane Tiaro bypass this week, making an impassioned speech in federal parliament calling for four lanes with a concrete divide.

Mr Bailey said he had contacted Mr O'Brien personally to tell him the south and north lanes of the new $107 million bypass would be divided.

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Mr Bailey said he was "very disappointed" in Mr O'Brien's comments.

"A very low act by, sadly, an MP with no integrity," he said.

Mr O'Brien hit back on Tuesday, saying Mr Bailey should play the ball, not the man.

He stood by his comments, saying the proposed bypass was "woefully inadequate and unsafe".

"The only plans I have seen are for a killer road," he said.

Mr McCormack defended his fellow LNP member.

"The Member for Wide Bay stands up for the people of his community every day and we acknowledge his strong views on the Tiaro Bypass project," a spokesman for Mr McCormack said.

The Deputy Prime Minister stood by the current design for the bypass.

"The proposed bypass at Tiaro will improve flood immunity, reduce congestion and remove heavy vehicle traffic away from Tiaro's township to significantly improve safety and liveability for residents and future-proof the Bruce Highway for the growing traffic volumes," the spokesman said.

"Queensland's Department of Transport and Main Roads advise that the current design of the two-lane bypass will provide sufficient capacity to cater for current and foreseeable traffic demand.

"The business case for the bypass is currently being developed and is expected to be completed in early 2021.

"The business case will assess all options for the bypass, including appropriate safety treatments and corridor planning for future widening if necessary."