Police on scene at a serious rollover on Henry St/Burnett Hwy Nanango, September 19, 2020.
Police on scene at a serious rollover on Henry St/Burnett Hwy Nanango, September 19, 2020.

$95m invested into Burnett Hwy not enough, says MP

THEY say a fatality on the roads effects at least one hundred people, well that's four hundred people directly impacted by lives lost on the Burnett Highway this year.

Used as a gateway to several large regional hubs including Bundaberg, Gladstone and Maryborough, the 542km stretch of motorway has tragically claimed the lives of four people.

Over the past decade the Department of Transport and Main Roads has invested $95.95 million into upgrading the Burnett Highway in the North Burnett.

Despite this investment, 11 lives were lost in the past decade and 16 over the past two decades, just in the North Burnett.

The aftermath of a fatal traffic crash at Bakers Creek on the D'Aguilar Highway, July 10, 2020
The aftermath of a fatal traffic crash at Bakers Creek on the D'Aguilar Highway, July 10, 2020

State MP for Callide Colin Boyce is a regular traveller along the Burnett Hwy, and believes there are notorious spots along the stretch where accidents commonly occur.

These works in his opinion however are not enough, with the State Government continuously working on our roads every day.

"Our government, whoever it may be after the election, they need to understand, you cannot continually under fund road maintenance to the entire road network," he said.

"I'd love to see more funding go into the Burnett Hwy, having said that, what about every other highway in Queensland.

"The bucket of money is only so big, but the reality is it isn't big enough.

"We can't keep being underfunded."

These examples are only a mere glimpse into the 41 recorded deaths from 2001-2019, according to data released by the Department of Transport and Main Roads.

Of those 16 deaths, between 2010-2019 five were alcohol or drug related, three involved speeding drivers/riders and three happened between 10pm and midnight.

A Transport and Main Roads spokesperson said since 2010, they have invested $95.95 million to improve the Burnett Highway within the North Burnett area.

These projects include:

  • A new Harkness Boundary Creek No 1 Bridge (2010/2011)
  • A new O'Bil Bil Creek Bridge and upgrade to the approaches (2011/2012)
  • Road resurfacing between Goomeri and Gayndah (2012/2013)
  • Removing obstructions and creating clear zones to reduce the severity of crashes between the Binjour rest area and Darlington's Road, north of Binjour (2013/2014)
  • Road widening between Monto-Mount Perry Road and Plateau Road and safety improvements between Gayndah and Monto (2014/2015)
  • Road resurfacing between Goomeri and Gayndah, near Selene Miles Road (2015/2016)
  • A new bridge deck on Three Moon Creek bridge and road resurfacing between Gayndah and Monto, near the Monto Silos (2016/2017)
  • Road resurfacing between Gayndah and Monto, at Cranks Ave and south of Mulgildie (2017/2018)
  • Installation of vehicle activated signage north of Monto (2018/2019)
  • Replacement of Lochaber Creek Bridge (2018/2019)
  • Road resurfacing between Binjour and Fox Creek (2019/2020)
  • Upgrade to pedestrian facilities at the Warton and Meson streets intersection in Gayndah (2019/2020)
  • Replacement of Three Moon Creek Bridge (funding allocated in 2020/2021)

Design is also underway to reconfigure and provide left and right-turn lanes at the Burnett Highway and Cania Dam Road intersection at Moonford, as part of the 2020/21 Safer Roads Sooner program.

Mr Boyce is a member of the State Government's Transport and Public Works committee and is aware of the common defects of roads, especially in rural areas, that can appear on frequently used highways.

"The Gayndah south section down towards to Nanango, that has plenty of corners, bends, and especially blind corners, they're part of the reason some of these accidents happen," Mr Boyce said.

"There are sections that aren't safe, and we seem to have this steady occurrence on the highway where shoulders have fallen away, and there are sections that are very rough, and subside over time."