Bennett’s fresh call to upgrade busy Bargara intersection
Burnett MP Stephen Bennett has again put pressure on the state government to save the lives of local children by conducting safety upgrades to a busy intersection.
Speaking in parliament on Wednesday night, Mr Bennett accused the government of failing children by ignoring pleas from the community for upgrades to the Bargara-Hughes Rd intersection.
"Primary School aged children are playing Russian roulette along this busy road to get to Bargara State School, and I'm sad to say that I have heard from many witnesses who report nears misses every week at this intersection," Mr Bennett said.
"Bargara State School is one of very few schools that doesn't have a formal crossing in place - no lollipop supervisor or traffic lights in sight, despite an ever-increasing population.
"We have a situation where a Year 6 student is playing lollipop lady along this busy road, often herding groups of half a dozen across two sides of the road on their bikes."
Mr Bennett said it was "inexcusable" that an 11-year-old was taking on this responsibility of protecting other children because the Minister and his government failed to do so.
"Isn't it our job as representatives of the community to keep our kids safe?," Mr Bennett said.
"The bureaucratic response that there aren't enough kids crossing that road to warrant a designated pedestrian crossing simply doesn't cut it.
"It's cruel and offensive that the Minister's department doesn't consider dozens of children's lives worthy of protecting by implementing essential safety measures."
Concerned parents joined Mr Bennett earlier this month to call for upgrades to the intersection.
At the time, local mum Kira-Lee Honor said she and other parents were surprised nothing bad had happened at the intersection.
"In the school community, talking to other parents they're surprised too," she said.
"We just think maybe a lollipop lady, so that we're not holding up traffic all day and we're just getting them across that road during school times."
Earlier this month, Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey said TMR road safety experts would continue to assess the safety at the intersection, but crashes at the site were "historically low".
"TMR's road safety experts have assessed this intersection and advised in a response to a community petition last year that the crash history at this location has been historically low," he said.
"But TMR will continue to assess safety at this intersection, building on our investments in the Bundaberg region like the $42.5 million Isis Highway upgrades and funding we recently secured to upgrade to the Bargara Road and Seaview Road intersection near the school."