4 August 2011
Mr POWELL (Glass House—LNP) (3.03 pm): This week I tabled both an e-petition and a paper petition from concerned community members regarding the state of the D’Aguilar Highway. Interestingly, I did this almost two years to the day since I first did that and, frustratingly, the government still has not addressed the safety on this increasingly busy state road. Two years ago the constituents of Glass House and I were calling for urgent safety upgrades to the D’Aguilar Highway, particularly between Caboolture and Woodford.
To be honest, I had high hopes. We were to meet with the Minister for Main Roads and, subsequent to that meeting, we had a commitment from the Bligh Labor government to lodge a
$12 million black spot funding submission. Devastatingly, the black spot submission has disappeared into a black hole. To date my efforts to determine where it has gone leave me with only two conclusions: firstly, it was never submitted or, secondly, federal politics have cruelled its passage through the supposedly independent black spot committee.
I have lost patience and so have the people of Caboolture, Wamuran, D’Aguilar, Mount Mee, Woodford and beyond. I thank Mrs Bev Wilson for being brave enough to initiate this petition. The petitions I tabled this week are a desperate plea. If this government is not interested in improving the highway then it should at least lower the speed as a short-term measure to reduce the likelihood of even more deaths.
Everyone knows that lowering the speed limit to 80 kilometres an hour between the Rangeview Estate at Wamuran and D’Aguilar is not a long-term, sustainable solution. There is a very real concern— and I am happy to name it—that doing so will only serve to amplify the frustration of some drivers. There are no overtaking opportunities on this stretch of the highway and I do fear that the result will be irrational behaviour, and even the safest highways cannot protect against that. On the positive side, an 80-kilometre-an-hour speed limit means that in the event of an accident the cost, particularly to human life, will be less. At the end of the day, that is what is most important. I want to know that this government has done everything it possibly can to ensure not one more life is lost on this highway when that could have been prevented through something as simple as changing a few speed signs.