Flooding at Hamilton Plains on January 9 this year. Photo: Whitsunday Regional Council
Flooding at Hamilton Plains on January 9 this year. Photo: Whitsunday Regional Council

Gloves off: MP slams lack of action on urgent road projects

Shots have been fired at the Queensland Government over perceived inaction on "urgently needed" road upgrades in the Whitsundays.

Dawson MP George Christensen has accused the government of being "slow and spurious" in relation to fixing flooding issues at Hamilton Plains and Goorganga Plains.

Mr Christensen said federal funding for Hamilton Plains had been available since 2019 and since 2018 for Goorganga Plains, but the State Government was yet to make "meaningful progress" on either project.

"In April 2019, I secured $29.6 million to solve the Hamilton Plains flooding issue under the Federal Government's Roads of Strategic Importance program," Mr Christensen said.

"Now I find out the Palaszczuk Labor Government has picked the eyes out of that funding, for another project on Shute Harbour Rd, and we have no word on what they are doing, or when, to rectify the flooding issues at Hamilton Plains."

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A Department of Transport and Main Roads spokesman provided an update, saying funding had been allocated to both Hamilton Plains and Shute Harbour Rd.

He said $37 million had been allocated under the Roads of Strategic Important package, with $29.6 million contributed by the Federal Government and $7.4 million from the State Government.

The spokesman explained the funds had been earmarked for a flood mitigation project at Hamilton Plains and an upgrade to a section of Shute Harbour Rd, near Cannonvale.

"The Hamilton Plains project is due to start detailed design in mid-2021," the spokesman said.

The project is set to be delivered in the 2022-23 to 2023-24 financial years.

Dawson MP George Christensen has criticised the State Government for a lack of action on key roads projects. Picture: Matt Taylor
Dawson MP George Christensen has criticised the State Government for a lack of action on key roads projects. Picture: Matt Taylor

"Detailed design for the Proserpine-Shute Harbour Road, Cannonvale project is under way and expected to be complete in mid-2021," he said.

Construction is earmarked for 2021-22 to 2023-24.

Mr Christensen also called out the State Government for a lack of work at Goorganga Plains, saying the plan to upgrade the flood-prone section of the Bruce Highway had been going since 2018 and was still a long way off completion.

"We have had $12 million available for a $15 million study to investigate viable solutions at Goorganga Plains since July 2018," Mr Christensen said.

"Just last week I learned the Queensland Labor Government won't have a business case for Goorganga Plains until 2022."

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The department spokesman said $15 million had been committed to plan and preserve the corridor for a potential future project at Goorganga Plains.

"The preliminary evaluation of options and business case development for the Goorganga Plains flood planning project are expected to be finalised by mid-2022, however no funding is committed for design and construction," the spokesman said.

"Federal and state funding is released in accordance with the four-year Queensland Transport and Roads Investment delivery program as project phases are met."

Mr Christensen said the State Government's delivery speed for road projects was not up to scratch.

"When it comes to building roads, the Palaszczuk Labor Government is not fast and furious, but slow and spurious," he said.

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