EIGHT MILE: State government urged to apply for upgrade
YEARS after a community campaign began to upgrade the notorious Eight Mile Intersection, federal politicians have visited the site to make a renewed call for action.
Member for Maranoa David Littleproud and Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack called on the Queensland Government to submit an application for funding for an overpass.
"We are the economic engine room of the nation, it's important the state government gets off their hands,” Mr Littleproud said.
Upgrading the site would not only enhance safety according to Mr McCormack, but also allow efficient travel of trucks to ports.
Former Member for the Southern Downs Lawrence Springborg passionately campaigned for the intersection upgrade after multiple fatalities and the state government announced it had completed a business case for an overpass in June 2016.
Mr Springborg said it was pleasing to see the commonwealth was willing to contribute the 80percent funding contribution needed for the national highway and urged the state government be similarly enthusiastic.
"Never look gift horse in the mouth, you've already done the work around the planning and design, jump at the opportunity,” he said.
Despite safety improving in recent years due to a reduced speed limit, light-up signage and barriers, Mr McCormack said more was needed as it was a major intersection for drivers travelling from Sydney to Brisbane.
Warwick District Road Safety Group secretary Andrew Gale said the previous road works were a stop-gap measure.
"It's been quite effective but the next fatality at that intersection gets closer every day,” Mr Gale said.
Member for the Southern Downs James Lister said he recently met with the Department of Transport and Main Roads, Kym Murphy, to discuss progess on the Eight Mile Intersection.
Mr Lister said a design and business case were complete, now funds were needed.
"I'm happy to lobby the federal government for their fair share,” he said.
"There has been fencing erected and modifications so the way it (the intersection) was designed before wasn't good enough and there was a case for it to be improved.”