Hinchinbrook MP, Andrew Cripps, says there has been nothing but silence from Environment Minister, Steven Miles, in relation to safety concerns about the number of brumbies on the Bruce Highway and local roads on Townsville’s Northern Beaches.
Mr Cripps said he wrote to Minister Miles on 1 September 2015, but a full month later, there had been no response, despite reports that Queensland Government agencies were in discussions with the Townsville City Council about potential responses.
“I’ve had no response whatsoever from Minister Miles, or any Queensland Government agency, which is very disappointing, especially given the tragic accident that occurred on the Bruce Highway near Sleeper Log Creek yesterday” said Mr Cripps.
“I’m certainly not saying that yesterday’s accident was anyone’s fault – there is no guarantee that any course of action taken a month ago would have prevented that – but people need to know that their concerns are being heard and acted on” he said.
Mr Cripps said he had drawn to the attention of the Minister that this was not a new issue in the area and that it was caused by prolonged periods of dry weather, during which the brumbies were forced to move around more in search of water and food.
“The Environment Department is aware that last time this problem was encountered, the response involved a trapping and rehabilitation program, because most of the brumbies were coming out of Clement State Forest and other state controlled land”.
“The Environment Department is also aware that the contractor who undertook that trapping and rehabilitation program is available and willing to undertake that work again – it’s just a matter of Minister Miles making a decision to actually do something”.
Mr Cripps said the road safety concerns of residents on Townsville’s Northern Beaches were serious and legitimate, a fact underlined by yesterday’s fatal accident on the Bruce Highway near Sleeper Log Creek, between Rollingstone and Bluewater.