April 26, 2019
The Federal Coalition has promised to spend $20 million to replace the single-lane John Peterson Bridge over the Boyne River near Mundubbera if re-elected.
Replacement of the bridge has been a key concern for farmers and agri-businesses in the western part of the South Burnett for many years.
A lobby group, the Mundubbera to Jandowae Roads Working Group (MJRWG), was formed in 2017 to press the case as well as pushing for upgrades to Mundubbera-Durong Road.
Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack promised on Friday that a re-elected Liberal and Nationals Government would replace the bridge.
“The John Peterson Bridge on Mundubbera-Durong Road is subject to flooding, causing safety concerns for people travelling on this key route linking the North and South Burnett regions,” Mr McCormack said.
Federal Member for Flynn Ken O’Dowd said the vital freight route along Mundubbera-Durong Road was cut during heavy weather.
“This project will involve construction of a new bridge, as well as realigning its approaches to eliminate dangerous S-bends,” he said.
“This is a key route connecting the Western Downs with Rockhampton and is used by thousands of heavy vehicles carting cattle, timber and grain on a weekly basis.
“We all know that if a bridge is out of action it could mean a diversion of hundreds of kilometres to find a safe alternate route.”
AgForce general president – and MJRWG chair – Durong grazier Georgie Somerset said a new bridge would produce economic and social benefits for the entire region.
She said design work to replace and realign the existing low-level timber bridge with a new high-level bridge had already been completed by the Queensland Department of Transport and Main Roads.
North Burnett Mayor Rachel Chambers also welcomed the announcement, saying Council had advocated strongly for the replacement of the bridge for many years.
“We will continue to work closely with the MJRWG to see this project realised and support further improvements to this north-south inland linkage,” she said.
BIEDO CEO Kristy Frahm also praised the commitment.
She said a new two-lane concrete bridge would improve road access and reliability.
“As part of the MJRWG, we’ve been working with all levels of government, as well as local organisations, to collaborate and prioritise solutions to create connected communities through a focus on infrastructure,” Mrs Frahm said.
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