In Bruce we Trust: New regional members appointed to highway council

Published Wednesday, 01 September, 2021 at 10:39 AM


Premier and Minister for Trade
The Honourable Annastacia Palaszczuk

Minister for Transport and Main Roads
The Honourable Mark Bailey

Regional Queenslanders will have more say in how transport funding is prioritised for the Bruce Highway with the appointment of six new Bruce Highway Trust Advisory Council (BHTAC) members.

The Premier announced the new representatives in Parliament today who will join peak industry leaders including RACQ and the Queensland Trucking Association (QTA) to help shape economic recovery, job creation and improved road safety through upgrades to Queensland’s longest road.

“The Bruce Highway is Queensland’s backbone stretching 1700km from the south east, right up to the Far North,” the Premier said.

“It’s the life blood of our regions, keeping our freight moving and our communities connected.

“Our long-term Bruce Highway upgrade program is critical in making sure all motorists who use it – get to their destination safely and is a pivotal part of our Economic Recovery Plan providing a steady pipeline of jobs for Queenslanders during very uncertain times.

“We’re helping to deliver $13 billion of works over the 15 years until 2028 and we committed more funding in our last budget, ensuring there is now $883 million in additional joint funding supporting more upgrades.

“My government established the Bruce Highway Trust to take the politics out of funding the Bruce to make sure the funding was going to where it’s needed most.”

The six new regional members to join the Bruce Highway Trust include:

  • Ellie Pearson – civil/environmental engineer with roads and transport experience
  • Anita Mumford – civil engineer with highway planning and design experience
  • Julie Boyd – significant local government experience and strong regional development and road safety knowledge
  • Robert Dorgelo – roads and highways engineer
  • Tania Dennis – architect and urban design with strong regional development experience
  • Brian Hughes – experienced former Road Safety Advisor.

The Premier said the addition of these six regional voices will help identify what our regions need and lock in a long-term pipeline of jobs right along Queensland’s east coast.

“They have a diverse range of backgrounds, including in engineering, road safety, architecture, urban design and governance. A wealth of knowledge that can only be gained from living in communities along the Bruce,” the Premier said.

“I look forward to their advice on how we can improve the Bruce to further unlock economic growth in our regional communities, build flood resilience and improve safety for the thousands of Queenslanders who use the Bruce every day.”

Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey said expanding the BHTAC with more regional voices was a priority.

"Queenslanders backed our commitment to invest more on the Bruce Highway and expand the Trust Advisory Council, and we’re backing them by delivering on that commitment,” Mr Bailey said.

“We’ve already got a record $27.5 billion being invested in roads and transport infrastructure over the next four years to support 24,000 jobs and drive Queensland’s economic recovery.

"The work of our new regional representatives, which includes members from South Kolan, Sarina, Mackay, Magnetic Island, Townsville and Innisfail, will make sure that investment continues well into the future and continues to focus on regional Queensland.

“The establishment of the BHTAC is a key commitment under the Palaszczuk Government’s Future-Proofing the Bruce policy and A Real Bruce Plan.

“I welcome the new members representing Queensland regions and communities along the Bruce Highway, north of Gympie.”

BHTAC chair Peter Garske welcomed the new appointments to the council.

"The council’s work and the views of its current and new members will be critical to the development of the Bruce Highway vision and action plans," Mr Garske said.

"The BHTAC is overseeing the development of a 15-year vision and three, five-year rolling Action Plans, as well as the Safer Bruce 2030 Action Plan to unlock economic growth, build flood resilience and improve safety on the highway.

"Our role includes providing advice and direction to the BHTAC Technical Working Group on stakeholder needs and expectations.

“We welcome the six new members and the unique regional perspectives they bring." 


Media contact:

Zoe Russell (Premier’s office) – 0439 982 347

Toby Walker (Minister Bailey’s office) – 0439 347 875