Published: 13 February 2017

Murchison MLC Ruth Forrest has raised concern that sections of the Bass Highway in Circular Head require priority upgrades to assist primary producers, forestry contractors and local manufacturers who transport product daily on this highway from Circular Head and Wynyard to other parts of Tasmania.

Ms Forrest is calling on the State and Federal Governments to prioritise this work to ensure business confidence and economic growth is not negatively impacted.

“The Bass Highway west of Burnie has received upgrades over recent years through State and Federal Government funding however key sections of this highway, particularly from Detention River Bridge to Black River, need urgent upgrades” Ms Forrest said.

“It is disappointing that the section of the Bass Highway between the Detention River Bridge and Black River was not included in the last major upgrade of the Bass Highway in this region. This section provides no overtaking lanes, is very narrow and dangerous in parts and is a constant challenge for the drivers of the many heavy vehicles using this road every day” Ms Forrest stated.

“It is difficult to understand why this section was not included in the last upgrades when it has long been a section of concern to local truck drivers and other road users in this region. I have personally had a near miss on this section of the road in a particularly narrow section near Peggs Beach” Ms Forrest said.

Ms Forrest has been contacted by local farmers raising their concerns. “Local farmers have asserted this section of the road to be some of the worst in the State, particularly considering the volume of traffic and produce transported” Ms Forrest said. Road users have also suggested that this section was not included in the previous upgrade as the Circular Head Council did not include it in the proposal to Government. 

“Widening of this section and the addition of overtaking lanes needs to occur as a priority, especially as we are experiencing an increase in motor homes and caravans on the roads with very few opportunities safely pull over and enable trucks and other road users to pass” Ms Forrest stated.

“The Bass Highway is a key link from some of the most productive areas of the State and needs to be upgraded as a matter of priority to support business and industry in the area” Ms Forrest said.

13 February 2017

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