Hughie threatens blockade over dangerous road

TWU stalwart Hughie Williams vows to blockade dangerous road unless government steps in to upgrade it

Hughie threatens blockade over dangerous road
Hughie threatens blockade over dangerous road
By Brad Gardner | July 15, 2010

Union stalwart Hughie Williams is threatening to blockade a dangerous road north of Queensland’s Sunshine Coast unless the Federal Government steps in to upgrade it.

Williams, who is the branch secretary of the Queensland Transport Workers Union, has vowed to shut down the intersection at Kybong on the Bruce Highway due to a blind spot.

The route is blamed for fatal accidents because motorists struggle to see oncoming traffic when crossing the highway or merging onto it. Williams says there have been 10 deaths in six years and something needs to be done.

He says a blockade is the next step to draw attention to his campaign, claiming a letter sent to Transport and Infrastructure Minister Anthony Albanese asking the route to be upgraded has been ignored.

"We’ve done it before and we’ll do it again if we have to," Williams says of blockades.

"When you’re pushed into a corner you have to do desperate things."

Williams has already made three whistlestop tours to the area and has rallied support from the general public and opposition spokesman on transport Warren Truss.

A spokesman for Albanese says the section at Kybong will eventually be upgraded as part of the Cooroy to Curra project.

The project is split into four sections, with the area at Kybong falling just outside the current section being upgraded.

However, the Government is looking at providing a short-term fix until a long term solution is reached.

"This is one particular location we are looking at funding," the spokesman says.

He says Albanese only received Williams’ letter yesterday and that the TWU boss has not called the office.

The spokesman also questioned the involvement of Truss, saying he did nothing to upgrade the route when he was the transport minister under former Prime Minister John Howard.

"In Warren’s mind these problems have emerged since 2007," the spokesman says.

He says the intersection could have been upgraded by now had the previous government spent as much money as is currently being allocated to road projects.

Williams says he will keep campaigning until the route is upgraded.

"I’m just amazed that something hasn’t been done," he says

"It’s bloody pathetic."

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