Anthony Albanese, Livingstone Shire Council Mayor Bill Ludwig, and Russell Robertson discuss a planned upgrade to the road to Stanage Bay
Anthony Albanese, Livingstone Shire Council Mayor Bill Ludwig, and Russell Robertson discuss a planned upgrade to the road to Stanage Bay Andrew Sorensen

Landry hints Stanage Bay Rd funds, candidates debate issue

AFTER months of concerted pressure by Livingstone Shire's mayor Bill Ludwig on the Federal Government to fund the repairs and upgrade of Stanage Bay Rd, Capricornia MP Michelle Landry has provided a glimmer of hope.

The cause for optimism was revealed during Ms Landry's answer to Mr Ludwig's question on the road issue during Wednesday night's Morning Bulletin candidates debate.

The question challenged Ms Landry and the other candidates on whether they supported compensation for lost revenue due to the army land acquisitions and a federal contribution towards maintenance and upgrading the army access routes to a safe, "fit for purpose” standard.

LNP, Michelle Landry

Ms Landry's response appeared to indicate that a favourable arrangement might yet be forthcoming before end of the election campaign.

"Shoalwater Bay is a massive project for Central Queensland and the election campaign is not over yet so Bill's getting a bit anxious here,” Ms Landry said.

Capricornia's incumbent member Michelle Landry.
LNP's incumbent Capricornia MP Michelle Landry. Allan Reinikka ROK010519adebate1

"I have spoken to the Deputy Prime Minister about the road. I've had graziers in talking about it to me and I would like to see upgrades done there.”

She intended to continue to lobby for a solution for the road while the region wait with bated breath during the last fortnight of campaigning.

LSC Mayor Bill Ludwig

Livingstone Shire Council mayor, Bill Ludwig a.k.a the Silver Fox proudly sports his new beard while getting things done for the Capricorn Coast.
Livingstone Shire Council mayor Bill Ludwig Contributed

In a statement yesterday, Cr Ludwig called for the political parties to "dig deeper with their commitments for critical tourism infrastructure”.

"Labor has also committed $21.6 million to sealing and upgrading Stanage Bay Rd. This investment will make the road both safe for army exercises as well as going a long way toward helping grow a vibrant and viable tourism industry at Stanage Bay township,” he said.

ROAD MAP: Stanage Bay Road is almost 100km in length from the coast to the Bruce Highway with travel times depending upon the condition of the dirt road.
ELECTION ISSUE: Stanage Bay Road is almost 100km in length from the coast to the Bruce Highway with travel times varying depending upon the condition of the road. Google Maps

He wanted to all sides of politics get behind the road upgrade while also addressing the $35 million economic loss resulting from the Federal Government's ongoing acquisition of beef properties for army training purposes.

ALP, Russell Robertson

Russell Robertson.
Labor's candidate for Capricornia Russell Robertson. Allan Reinikka ROK010519adebate2

Speaking at the debate, Labor's candidate Russell Robertson said he had spoken personally with Livingstone Shire Council about the damage being done to the road.

Consequently, he secured a $21 million funding promise from Federal Labor to fix the road and upgrade it to B-double standards if they were to win the election.

"It could not only make a safer road in and out of Stanage Bay for local residents but also open up that area, particularly for grey nomads, so that we could have our very own Agnes Water-style (development) on the Stanage Bay coast,” Mr Robertson said.

"As a fisherman who has wet a line around Stanage Bay, the ability to tow a boat in without damage or stone chips will also be great, leading to a potential boom in tourism.”

Independent, Ken Murray

Ken Murray.
Independent candidate Ken Murray. Rebekah Yelland

"I thought the military there to protect us, not to bully us and push us around, drive around on our roads and make a great big mess of them and expect us to put up with it," he said.”

"I think the answer is pretty simple, if you are going to take over our beautiful beef land and rural land, it's priceless.

"There's only eight per cent of the land on the Earth that you can use and to just have that for shooting bullets into it - I don't see the sense in that.

"If you are going to do it, then for crying out loud, be a good citizen and maintain the road to a proper standard.”

The Greens, Paul Bambrick

Greens candidate for Capricornia Paul Bambrick.
Greens candidate for Capricornia Paul Bambrick. Contributed

Mr Bambrick said his party had peace and non-violence in its platform and did not support the expansion of the training area, noting it was meant to be a dual purpose: for the military and the largest piece of untouched environment on the east coast of Australia.

"It's true that the road is mess and always has been and the military vehicles don't help,” he said. "I don't even know if the people of Stanage Bay are able to get out of there at the moment.

"If the military are going to use it, they should at least do it up as a tourist road while there is tourism out there still happening before they buy up the whole place.”

One Nation, Wade Rothery

ONE NATIONS Wade Rothery.
One Nation candidate for Capricornia Wade Rothery. Allan Reinikka ROK130319arothery

Mr Rothery said Stanage Bay Rd definitely needed upgrading but many roads including the Bruce Highway also needed urgent attention.