Wide Bay MP Llew O'Brien and Queensland's Minister for Roads and Transport Mark Bailey have exchanged harsh words over the proposed Tiaro bypass this week.
Wide Bay MP Llew O'Brien and Queensland's Minister for Roads and Transport Mark Bailey have exchanged harsh words over the proposed Tiaro bypass this week.

War of words: How bypass battle played out

IT'S been the subject of a week-long battle that reached the halls of federal parliament and got very personal.

The Tiaro bypass battle began when Mr O'Brien declared he would not support the two-lane project or endorse the related joint media release between his federal colleague and the State Government because it was the kind of road the former police officer said was 'killing Queenslanders'.

This was despite State Government Roads and Transport Minister Mark Bailey's pledge there would be a concrete divider between the south and north bound lanes to prevent head-on crashes.

The relentless push for a four-lane highway was also raised by Mr O'Brien twice in federal parliament this week.

Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack dismissed reports the firm stance was further evidence of a rift within his party.

He said he supported Mr O'Brien's right to fight for a four lane highway but stood by the current $107 million plan for a two lane bypass.

Meanwhile, the debate between Mr O'Brien Mr Bailey turned nasty when the Queensland roads minister publicly accused the former police officer of having "no integrity".

"He knows, because I told him, that there will be physical separation between the north and south lanes of the new Tiaro bypass, so no risk of there being any head-on crashes whatsoever," Mr Bailey said.

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

But 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.

The debate exploded onto Facebook when Mr Bailey addressed Mr O'Brien on the Wide Bay MP's page and accused him of misrepresenting what had been agreed upon in regards to a concrete divide between the north and south bound lanes.

See part of the exchange here:

The Facebook exchange between Mark Bailey and Llew O'Brien.
The Facebook exchange between Mark Bailey and Llew O'Brien. Contributed

Meanwhile, the Chronicle ran a poll this week on whether the bypass needed to be four lanes.

So far, 90 per cent of participants have voted yes.

To have your say, vote here.

Should the Tiaro bypass be four lanes?

This poll ended on 08 September 2020.

Current Results

Yes

87%

No

12%

This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.