by Peter Carruthers
THE race to take action on a flood-prone section of Shute Harbour Rd at Hamilton Plains escalated yesterday when Opposition leader Tim Nicholls dropped in to the Whitsundays.
If elected at the looming state election Mr Nicholls has promised to commit $37million to flood proof and upgrade the Proserpine- Shute Harbour Rd at Hamilton Plains.
Mr Nicholls said yesterday the $37 million project would help ensure safe and liveable communities for Whitsunday residents and tourists, especially during a natural disaster.
"LNP Whitsunday MP Jason Costigan has been relentless in his campaigning for this much- needed project,” Mr Nicholls said. "This is a project whose time has finally come.
"If elected, within the first 100 days, we'll get on with getting this project under way.”
Last week the Labor candidate for the seat of Whitsunday promised a "business case” would be prepared to address the flooding problem if elected.
Mr Nicholls said a business case "is another way of saying 'we don't know if we want to do it or not and we don't know if we are going to do it or not'.
"We say you need the plans, you need to have the proper design, we will actually get on and actually build it.”
Member for Whitsunday Jason Costigan was at Hamilton Plains yesterday to back the LNP's announcement but provided little detail on whether the Myrtle Creek at Strathdickie Rd would be included in the flood-proof plan.
"We will be guided by what the experts say,” he said.
"I am not a bridge builder, I am not a road builder or an engineer.
"The information we have got says that $37 million will deliver us a much better Shute Harbour Rd through flood prone Hamilton Plains.
"This is a massive win for our community and it just goes to show that only the LNP can be trusted to build the roads, bridges and dams our state needs.”
When asked why the project was such a huge priority now and not when the former LNP government of Campbell Newman was in government, Mr Costigan said, "Labor has had the best part of 34 years to fix this problem as opposed to (the LNP's) 34 months”.