What a second Bruce Hwy would mean for M’boro

HUNDREDS of jobs could be generated for the Fraser Coast if Labor was re-elected after the party committed to building a “second Bruce Highway”.

That’s the big pitch today from the ALP which says its Real Bruce Plan prioritises safety upgrades and takes trucks off the highway onto a “Second Bruce” inland freight route to benefit Wide Bay and Fraser Coast road users, according to Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk.

The plan also commits to building on the existing $12.6 billion jointly-funded Bruce Highway partnership with an additional $500 million to prioritise upgrades between Gladstone and Mackay.

Regional communities would also have a say in how funding is prioritised, with six new representatives from regional Queensland to be added to the Bruce Highway Trust.

Ms Palaszczuk said 33 projects supporting thousands of jobs are already under construction on the Bruce Highway thanks to Labor’s record investment on Queensland’s national highway.

“Since 2015 we’ve delivered $3.7 billion in Bruce upgrades, supporting thousands of regional jobs,” the Premier said.

“Around Bundaberg and Maryborough, hundreds of jobs will be supported with $210 million worth of upgrades, including the Tiaro Bypass and Saltwater Creek project north of Maryborough.

“If re-elected, my government will continue to increase our annual investment in Bruce Highway upgrades to more than $2 billion by 2023.”

Labor Member for Maryborough Bruce Saunders said the Real Bruce Plan included a target to reduce fatalities and serious injuries by 60 per cent by 2030.

“We all know the devastating impact road crashes have had on families,” Mr Saunders said.

“Labor will deliver a $1.5 billion safety package that targets known crash locations with priority upgrades to save lives.”

The State Opposition has pledged to build a four-lane Bruce Highway if elected.

The LNP has been contacted for comment.