No funding for Torbanlea causeway upgrade: new M'boro MP
AN ELECTION announcement to upgrade the notoriously flood-prone causeway at Torbanlea won't happen yet - with local member Bruce Saunders unable to secure funding in this year's State Budget.
The causeway is regularly cut during heavy rain, with school buses and motorists forced to re-route and add 15 minutes onto their trip.
Previous Member for Maryborough Anne Maddern promised a $1.8 million upgrade if constituents re-elected her.
While Transport and Main Roads had completed a design for an upgrade of the causeway, Mr Saunders said the department advised him there was no funding allocated or available for the project.
"Now that asset sales will not go ahead we will have to compete for funding with other priority road funding projects around the state in the next financial year," he said.
Mr Saunders said he would meet with Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey to discuss the matter.
"I know this a heartfelt issue for the residents of Howard and Torbanlea," he said.
"Too often after heavy rain the causeway on the Torbanlea-Pialba road is closed due to flooding.
"This causes great inconvenience to the local community and also presents safety issues during heavy downpours.
"I am not in a position however, to fulfil the empty promises from a previous member for which funding was never allocated."
Howard and District Progress Association treasurer Grant Maw said it was disappointing the project wouldn't begin soon.
Mr Maw said it was frustrating, however he acknowledged the change of government meant priorities had changed.
"We just want the thing done now," he said.
"We were hoping to get that done for the next storm season-but reality is reality."
Mr Maw praised Mr Saunders for his honesty in the matter, however has urged him to work hard to get the project started.