Horror highway averages almost one death per year
A ROAD that leaves more than six people hospitalised each year and averages almost one fatality per year is the focus of a new petition.
Burdekin MP Dale Last has called on the State Government to honour its commitment to upgrade the Peak Downs Highway between Moranbah and Clermont before more tragedy occurs.
"Just last week we saw another two people lose their lives on the Peak Downs Highway," Mr Last said.
"Labor committed to an upgrade of the road between Moranbah and Clermont if elected and I am calling on them to honour that commitment.
"Too many lives have been lost and too many people have been injured. This is not a commitment that can be delayed, it's needed, and it's needed now."
Mackay Road Accident Action Group life member Graeme Ransley said a number of issues plagued the Peak Downs Highway - some caused by the road itself, and others a result of driver behaviour.
"There is a critical need for passing lanes between Nebo and Moranbah," Mr Ransley said.
"The whole road condition west of Moranbah is seriously of concern.
"Issues like speed, erratic driving and fatigue are behavioural issues that can be addressed."
He said the safety of the highway must be addressed as a matter of urgency.
Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey said the Palaszczuk Government was delivering more than $70 million worth of upgrades on the Peak Downs Highway across several works packages.
"That includes $35 million to upgrade priority sections between Clermont and Nebo, and $18 million for safety upgrades between Mackay and Eton," Mr Bailey said.
"We gave our commitment to the communities and industries that use the Peak Downs Highway to deliver these important upgrades and that commitment won't change."
He said this upgrade was also being supported by major projects it connects to at the east like the Walkerston Bypass and the recently completed Eton Range realignment.
Mr Last's petition calls for immediate action as "Central Queensland residents and workers could no longer afford to wait".
"The areas serviced by the Peak Downs Highway provide billions in royalties to government each year," the Burdekin MP said.
"If it takes some people power to get some of that money spent, then so be it."
You can view the petition here.
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