No plans for new Baralaba bridge
JEFF Seeney has blasted the State Government for having no plans to upgrade the Baralaba bridge.
The community has been pushing for an upgrade since the tragic drowning last month of a man who tried to swim across the river because the bridge was flooded.
MR Seeney went on the attack after he got a response from Main Roads Minister Craig Wallace to a question on notice he made in State Parliament last month.
The Member for Callide asked the minister how many days the bridge had been inundated during the past three years and what plans the government had to replace the bridge.
In his answer, which Mr Wallace took a month to provide, he referred to the Department of Transport and Main Roads' agreement with Banana Shire Council for the flood boat.
Mr Wallace also spoke about the $65 million project to replace three low-level bridges over the Don River on the Leichhardt Highway near Rannes.
After hearing the answer, Mr Seeney let fly.
“This is the worst case of a minister avoiding answering a question on notice I have ever seen,” Mr Seeney said.
“It highlights the fact that the minister is very embarrassed by the number of days the bridge has been inundated and he is avoiding giving that basic data to the public.
“It is also clear from the answer – or lack of it – that the government has no plans to replace the bridge at Baralaba and that is disgraceful.”
Mr Wallace's office refused to answer, passing the buck to his department.
A Transport and Main Roads spokesperson said preliminary works on the $65 million project had started.
“Each of these bridges carries higher volumes of traffic than the Dawson River Bridge,” the spokesperson said. “Throughout the last 10 months, the Dawson River Bridge on the Baralaba–Woorabinda Road has been closed for 63 days by flood waters.”
Ray Becker from Baralaba Landcare said a submission for the government on the bridge from his group and the Baralaba Progress Association had yet to be completed.
Construction on the Rannes bridges is expected to start in late 2011 and be completed in mid-2013.