Newspaper article The Observer (Gladstone, Australia)

Widening Future for Busy Road; Finally the Region's Most Notorious Road Is on the Budget Agenda

Newspaper article The Observer (Gladstone, Australia)

Widening Future for Busy Road; Finally the Region's Most Notorious Road Is on the Budget Agenda

Article excerpt

Byline: Tegan Annett tegan.annett@gladstoneobserver.com.au

SIX DEATHS, 25 taken to hospital, 18 requiring medical attention and 11 with minor injuries; these are the victims of the notorious Gladstone Benaraby Road since 2001.

Armed with these alarming statistics, Member for Gladstone Glenn Butcher is calling for a fix to the narrow, winding road.

In what was identified as a crucial road upgrade during his first election campaign in 2015, Mr Butcher said it was finally time the State Government "got it done".

Revealing that a wider, safer road between Gladstone and Benaraby, was no longer a pipe dream, Mr Butcher told The Observer he is campaigning for an upgrade to the road to be included in the next state budget.

He said with budget decisions nearing and after another car crash along the road on Wednesday afternoon, it was time to speak out about the need for improvements.

"One of the six (deaths) on that road from people who have died in car accidents was young Woofy, someone who I used to play cricket with," he said.

Mr Butcher is pushing for a road widening project as the first step to making the strip safer.

He said it was important to separate the north and south bound lanes, similarly to Queensland's major highways.

"It's a narrow road, so if we could widen the road and had separation strips that would go a long way to improving its safety," he said, adding that the road was always on the list of projects he wanted to deliver for Gladstone.

"So much money was spent on getting Kirkwood Rd delivered, this beautiful stretch from Calliope to the Kirkwood intersection, and then when you get on to Gladstone Benaraby Road it's a bit of a goat track, a tight, twisting road that doesn't separate cars from each other," Mr Butcher said.

After extensive discussions with Minister for Transport and Main Roads Mark Bailey and the central Queensland Transport and Main Roads branch, Mr Butcher is due to speak with Mr Bailey again during the next Parliament sitting week early in May. …

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