House debates

Tuesday, 3 March 2020

Statements by Members

Peak Downs Highway Walkerston Bypass

1:38 pm

Photo of George ChristensenGeorge Christensen (Dawson, National Party) Share this | | Hansard source

One of the first people to come and see me following my election in 2010 was a man named Graeme Ransley. He represented the Mackay Road Accident Action Group. He wanted to highlight the shocking road toll on the Peak Downs Highway and the need for a bypass around the small village of Walkerston, which sits in the electorate of Capricornia. I shared his concerns because, as a local government councillor, I actually represented that area. Graeme had some horrifying statistics. Over a five-year period, 41 people had died and 71 people had been hospitalised. More than 6,000 vehicles travel the highway into the mining and farming hinterland and 2½ million litres of fuel is transported through Walkerston every day, past two schools and a childcare centre.

The Mackay Road Accident Action Group were concerned that state politicians were not listening. I was joined in the fight by the member for Capricornia. After years of pressure and lobbying for funding, $120 million from the Morrison-McCormack government was secured. Last week the Walkerston bypass was on Infrastructure Australia's priority list. Over the next six months, the Palaszczuk government will try to claim credit for this project—I have no doubt—but I want to acknowledge the small band of road safety warriors who really made that funding from the federal Morrison-McCormack government happen: Graeme Ransley, Noel Lang, Carol Single and so many other members of the Mackay Road Accident Action Group. I say to them: take a bow.