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Road flood plan welcomed by Emerald business

ROAD TO THE FUTURE: Emerald Carrying Company co-owner Peter Haylock listens intently as Premier Campbell Newman and LNP Gregory candidate Lachlan Millar discuss the $375m inland highway plan.
ROAD TO THE FUTURE: Emerald Carrying Company co-owner Peter Haylock listens intently as Premier Campbell Newman and LNP Gregory candidate Lachlan Millar discuss the $375m inland highway plan. Di Stanley

ROADS are the vital arteries of everyday busin- ess for the fleet of Emerald Carrying Company trucks.

ECC co-owner Peter Haylock was all ears at the company's bustling Emerald depot yesterday as Premier Campbell Newman unveiled the LNP's $375 million plan to flood-proof the inland highway.

"Mate, they've been talking about this every flood since I was a little boy and now someone's actually going to do something about it," Mr Haylock said.

"I'm really pleased someone has taken the bull by the horns and said, 'Let's do it'.

"They reckon it's going to take six years, but finally it's going to get done. I reckon it's a great idea."

Mr Haylock, a former Emerald Shire councillor, said the business was hit when Central Queensland road access was compromised during the 2008 and 2010-11 floods.

ECC has more than 80 trucks traversing the length and breadth of Queensland daily, with the fleet set to grow on the strength of new contracts.

"I can remember the last time it flooded. We had to go via Tambo to get to Emerald and it took 16 hours from Brisbane," Mr Haylock said.

"It put pressure on us because we had to maintain wages, payments on the truck and insurance with no income.

"There would have been a hell of a lot of companies in the same boat, not just transport companies.

"So this is a great idea, because they're never going to flood-proof the Bruce Hwy."


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