House debates

Tuesday, 12 February 2019


Wide Bay Electorate: Infrastructure

7:45 pm

Photo of Llew O'BrienLlew O'Brien (Wide Bay, National Party) Share this | | Hansard source

I'd like to reflect on some of the key achievements and the progress that we have made in Wide Bay in the past 12 months or so. Safer roads save lives, and, since being elected, I've worked with families, emergency services, local media, local councils, road safety groups and the broader community to highlight the need to fix the Bruce Highway from Cooroy to Maryborough. Our joint efforts have secured $800 million in last year's budget to fast-track the construction of section D of the Bruce Highway Cooroy to Curra project. This will transform one of the deadliest sections of the Bruce Highway into one of the safest, and, over time, it will save countless lives. I'm pleased that the corridor clearing has now begun, and I want tenders to be called and construction to start as soon as possible.

The $38 million construction of the Tinana interchange is done. The $16 million Tiaro safety works are finished and work has started on the $12 million upgrade to eight intersections north of Gympie. Planning is underway for the much-needed Bells Bridge-Bruce Highway intersection, and the Liberal-National government is fully funding new overtaking lanes at Tinana and intersection upgrades at Gootchie. Last year I secured $5 million to replace the notorious Coondoo Creek Bridge on Tin Can Bay Road. The coalition government has also invested $2.4 million to upgrade and replace Cooroy's Mary River Road Bridge, Cooran's Old Noosa Road Bridge and Sunrise Beach's Orealla Crescent Bridge. I was pleased to join with the Noosa's mayor, Tony Wellington, to officially open these bridges at Cooroy and Cooran. The mayor and I also recently activated Noosa's $155,000 CCTV network, fully funded by the Liberal-National government.

I've also been working with the government to partner with businesses to create real jobs. In Maryborough we've reserved $28.5 million for the NIOA-Rheinmetall state-of-the-art projectile-forging plant that, through construction and into the future, will create 178 jobs. The Liberal-National government is also jointly funding six new projects in the electorate. Gympie's Nolan Meats is receiving $5 million to expand its processing facility, creating some 245 jobs locally. Maryborough's Dale and Meyers is creating 30 jobs through a $1.7 million commitment. Teys Australia Murgon is using $267,000 invested to expand their cattle hide processing plant. Suncoast Gold Macadamias at Glanmire has received $270,000 for two projects to improve factory output. At Rainbow Beach, $10,000 will help local tourism operators.

The coalition government is also extending the mobile phone network, with new base stations at Maaroom, Yerra, Tansey, Windera, Glastonbury, Widgee, Woolooga, Kin Kin, Boreen Point, and along the Wide Bay Highway, Cootharaba Road, Pomona Kin Kin Road, and Maryborough Biggenden Road. More are on the way. Noosa Council's digital hub at Peregian is receiving $2.5 million, and that will become the centrepiece of innovation on the Sunshine Coast. The coalition government is also supporting the South Burnett, with BIEDO receiving $468,000 to help locals bounce back from natural disasters.

Since being elected, I've worked closely with local businesses and communities throughout Wide Bay to deliver the funding, infrastructure and services to grow our beautiful Wide Bay region, and I'm working with the Liberal-National government to continue to deliver for Wide Bay in 2019.