Highway a risk to drivers
WHEN you've been riding motorbikes for more than 40 years, you don't expect to risk life and limb on your daily commute to work.
That's unless your commute involves using the Bruce Hwy.
Shane Kelly, 55, had never had an accident in his life until just over a month ago, while riding to his Mackay office from Proserpine.
"I thought I was about to be killed," Mr Kelly said.
"I was in a line of traffic, 21km south of Proserpine.
"Then the cars in front started going all over the place."
Mr Kelly then struck a large pothole in the middle of the highway which collapsed the wheels of his bike.
He said he was fed up with the state of the highway.
"How many people have to be killed before they do something?" he said.
On Tuesday, $15.3 million was included in the Federal Budget to complete the $50 million upgrade of the Bruce Hwy's southern Mackay approach.
A total of $487.8 million was allocated for a range of projects on the full length of the highway over the next year.
Federal LNP member for Dawson George Christensen has slammed the budget and accused the government of "vote buying".
"We're looking at the commitment of $3.6 billion put on the table for the Pacific Hwy, which just happens to run through two marginal Labor electorates and independent MP Rob Oakshot's electorate," Mr Christensen said.
"Compare that to next to nothing in new funding for the Bruce Hwy."
A spokesman for Federal Transport Minister Anthony Albanese has hit back at Mr Christensen's statements and said Labor's commitment for the highway was much more than had been allocated during the former Coalition Government.
"If Mr Christensen is concerned now, he must have been horrified during the 12 years of Howard government," the spokesman said.
"We are spending $2.8 billion over seven years which compares to (Coalition spending of) $1.3 billion over 12 years."
However, the RACQ has also condemned the lack of funds for the highway.
Executive manger public policy for RACQ Michael Roth said the government was putting the lives of highway users at risk.
"Given all the problems the Bruce has had with high road tolls and flooding ... it's deserving of a bit more funding," Mr Roth said.
"The government has prioritised achieving a surplus instead of investing in infrastructure."