Floods prompt plea to finish inland routeThursday February 7, 2013 - 09:35 EDT
A western Queensland mayor says recent floods have highlighted the need for an alternative inland route between southern states and north Queensland.
Barcaldine Mayor Rob Chandler says the Aramac to Torrens Creek Road has been used on several occasions to resupply the state's north when the Bruce Highway is cut.
He says he is disappointed at the delay in finishing the upgrade.
"We have banana trucks coming down that road, we have cases of resupply out of Melbourne through there in this recent wet," he said.
"I've had several phone calls from truckies who use that road saying, 'why isn't this last 30 kilometres finished?'
"It saves an enormous amount of kilometres, fuel and time, if you are going from north Queensland to the southern states."
He says there is only a small section left to seal and it should be a priority.
"In situations like we've just had, the Torrens Creek Road has been a major inland way," he said.
"It's a matter of finishing off a project that has been in the pipeline for many, many years.
"The other road - the inland road up through Roma, Injune, Springsure and Emerald - it goes out regularly too because of some very low bridges.
"This is an alternative route for the resupply of the whole of north Queensland."
A spokeswoman for the Queensland Main Roads Minister says extra funding to finish the roadworks has not been included in the current transport and roads investment program.
She says future projects will be considered once the State's budget repair process is completed.
© ABC 2013
More breaking news
Vast areas of Queensland have experienced the hottest May night since records began, some of which stretch back to the 1800s.
For the majority of Australia April was warmer and drier than average.
Strong winds and heavy rain lashed parts of Victoria overnight, with hundreds of residents calling the State Emergency Service (SES) for help.