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Tamie Fraser steals show at bridge opening on Majura Parkway

By Charlotte Harper - 22 April 2016 33

Tamie Fraser on first drive over bridge

Tamie Fraser fought back tears as she discussed her late husband Malcolm Fraser’s legacy during a speech today to mark the announcement that the Majura Parkway Bridge over the Molonglo River is to be named in the ex-Prime Minister’s honour.

A respected humanitarian in later life, Malcolm Fraser resigned from the Liberal Party soon after Tony Abbott became Prime Minister in 2009. He died at the age of 84 in March 2015 after a short illness.

Tamie Fraser unveiling the bridge sign in honour of her late husband with daughters Angela Marshall and Phoebe Wynn-Pope (right) and grandson Sandy Marshall.

In Canberra for the celebration of the bridge’s opening today with Mrs Fraser were daughters Phoebe Wynn-Pope and Angela Marshall and grandson Sandy Marshall.

They stole the show from the many local politicians – including Chief Minister Andrew Barr, ACT Senator Zed Seselja and Member for Canberra Gai Brodtmann – who had gathered on the Majura Parkway bridge to mark the completion of the final stage of the $288 million, 11.5km project linking the Federal and Monaro Highways.

Zed Seselja and Andrew Barr.

Mrs Fraser inspired smiles all round from the first line of her short speech.

“It’s very nice of you to thank me for coming up here,” she said.

“I wouldn’t have missed it for quids. On behalf of my family I want to say how really happy we are to be part of this celebration today.”

She went on to discuss the many connotations of the word “bridge”.

“We think of the bridge overpass between widely different views, a bridge between peoples, the bridge that has made itself felt by joining the Federal Government and the Government of the Australian Capital Territory, which from history I know never quite, often doesn’t work as well, and it can bring about understanding,” she said.

It was during the next part of her speech that she verged on tears.

“While my old boy’s bridging efforts had a few holes in them at times, his core purpose in life, and much of his legacy, was to endeavour to bridge the many differences at both national and international, at many levels, that he encountered throughout a long life in the public arena.

“I do thank the government for taking this opportunity to name the bridge after him, and I am proud that it’s a bridge, and we all are.”

Mrs Fraser and her family then unveiled a sign bearing these words:

Malcolm Fraser Bridge
Jointly funded by the Australian and ACT Governments
The Right Honourable Malcom Fraser AC CH (1930-2015)
22nd Prime Minister of Australia
1975-1983
In office, he championed Aboriginal land rights and inclusive multicultural policy; adopted a progressive stance on the environment; and was a passionate reformer in later life who fearlessly promoted a raft of humanitarian causes.

The family led politicians and teams who had worked on the planning and construction of the bridge on the first walk across it, before returning to take the first drive over it together. They were whisked straight on to the airport.

Malcolm Fraser will not have a Canberra suburb named after him because the suburb of Fraser, named for Federal Member for the ACT between 1951 and 1970 Jim Fraser, has long existed. It was gazetted in January 1974.

Andrew Barr

Mr Barr described the Parkway as the largest infrastructure project in ACT history, and noted it was completed ahead of schedule, and well-timed given Singapore Airlines’ international flights into Canberra commence in September. He hoped it would facilitate a boost to freight distribution market between this region and South-East Asia and noted it ensured faster commutes for resident and visiting drivers and cyclists.

The dual carriageway was closed southbound to all but VIPs for several hours for the opening ceremony today, causing traffic headaches for drivers in the area.

Majura Parkway becomes a carpark.

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33 Responses to
Tamie Fraser steals show at bridge opening on Majura Parkway
rubaiyat 5:29 pm 25 Apr 16

dungfungus said :

neanderthalsis said :

On the absolute principle of user pays, how much are drivers having to pay to cross this very expensive piece of infrastructure? If it is truly an essential addition they won’t mind paying for shaving a few minutes off the trip, or do they only want it if someone else pays?

And let me congratulate all involved in multiplying the number of roads up Majura Valley to triple parallel roads at one point, almost burying the 350 million year old brachiopod fossils and totally dividing one side of the valley from the other and subsuming a lot of very fertile land.

Answer to your question is $3.50 per trip based on published usage rates over a 10 year recovery period.

I see no toll booths.

Postalgeek 4:16 pm 25 Apr 16

Acton said :

Is that ridiculous extra near-kilometre loop to get from Fyshwick onto Fairbairn to get to the inner north going to be permanent? You used to just turn left into Fairbairn. Now you have to head north for ages and then loop back. Another reason to not vote Labor.

No. Coming from Fyshwick you used to have to navigate the lights at Pialligo Avenue, then proceed to Fairbairn Ave. And you don’t head north for ages. You loop around immediately after you pass over Fairbairn Ave. The whole approach now is 90kmph instead of the original 80kmph and less between Pialligo and Fairbairn. Quit with the hyperbole.

Mordd 2:32 pm 25 Apr 16

rommeldog56 said :

Acton said :

Is that ridiculous extra near-kilometre loop to get from Fyshwick onto Fairbairn to get to the inner north going to be permanent? You used to just turn left into Fairbairn. Now you have to head north for ages and then loop back. Another reason to not vote Labor.

Appears to have been designed by the same people who designed Glenloch interchange.

And both are quite well designed and serve the purpose intended for them. Another reason not to vote Liberal.

JC 11:09 am 25 Apr 16

rommeldog56 said :

Acton said :

Is that ridiculous extra near-kilometre loop to get from Fyshwick onto Fairbairn to get to the inner north going to be permanent? You used to just turn left into Fairbairn. Now you have to head north for ages and then loop back. Another reason to not vote Labor.

Appears to have been designed by the same people who designed Glenloch interchange.

What’s wrong with Glenloch and how would you have designed it any differently?

JC 11:08 am 25 Apr 16

neanderthalsis said :

On the absolute principle of user pays, how much are drivers having to pay to cross this very expensive piece of infrastructure? If it is truly an essential addition they won’t mind paying for shaving a few minutes off the trip, or do they only want it if someone else pays?

And let me congratulate all involved in multiplying the number of roads up Majura Valley to triple parallel roads at one point, almost burying the 350 million year old brachiopod fossils and totally dividing one side of the valley from the other and subsuming a lot of very fertile land.

Answer to your question is $3.50 per trip based on published usage rates over a 10 year recovery period.

JC 10:56 am 25 Apr 16

Acton said :

Is that ridiculous extra near-kilometre loop to get from Fyshwick onto Fairbairn to get to the inner north going to be permanent? You used to just turn left into Fairbairn. Now you have to head north for ages and then loop back. Another reason to not vote Labor.

So what was the alternative then? It’s not like the ACT owned the land on the Duntroon side to put in a ramp on the south of Fairbairn Avenue is it? And let’s not forget much, better for everyone including those who live on the south of town. Good bit of road overall actually.

PS Similar issue coming from the city to Fyshwick, too, again no real alternative.

wildturkeycanoe 8:42 am 25 Apr 16

neanderthalsis said :

On the absolute principle of user pays, how much are drivers having to pay to cross this very expensive piece of infrastructure? If it is truly an essential addition they won’t mind paying for shaving a few minutes off the trip, or do they only want it if someone else pays?

And let me congratulate all involved in multiplying the number of roads up Majura Valley to triple parallel roads at one point, almost burying the 350 million year old brachiopod fossils and totally dividing one side of the valley from the other and subsuming a lot of very fertile land.

I doubt the 350 million year old fossils would have brought any revenue to Canberra even if it’d been used as a tourist attraction, whilst the fertile farmland looks to be covered in thistles and used mainly for sheep farming and pine trees. A road through the middle does not take a substantial amount of space from these disused paddocks, certainly not enough to make a significant reduction in capacity. With the parkway complete, maybe more people will use the area and be attracted to any future produce available there, whereas the old 90km/h single lane repair job was dangerous whilst heavy vehicles approached. Surely you’d be happy that less lives will be forfeit thanks to a safer road replacing the old black spot riddled with potholes and crumbling edges. Now transport companies can get goods from Sydney through to the airport and south of Canberra more efficiently, boosting the local economy and saving lives at the same time. There are more benefits than downsides to this road.

rubaiyat 6:54 pm 24 Apr 16

Acton said :

Is that ridiculous extra near-kilometre loop to get from Fyshwick onto Fairbairn to get to the inner north going to be permanent? You used to just turn left into Fairbairn. Now you have to head north for ages and then loop back. Another reason to not vote Labor.

Yeah I hate that when the First Minister personally drafts up all the engineering details and keeps getting it wrong.

Can’t wait till the Liberals get in and personally pick up my garbage and don’t bang the bins early in the morning. That’s the government we’ve been missing, for how many years now?

I do hope though that the Liberals don’t personally project manage any major Sporting facilities, run 13 times over budget, lose the files, or blow up any hospitals again.

dungfungus 3:31 pm 24 Apr 16

It’s a pity that they didn’t add to the sign the fact that he had majorities in both houses after a huge election win and then sat on his hands and did nothing with all that power.

dungfungus 3:29 pm 24 Apr 16

Acton said :

Is that ridiculous extra near-kilometre loop to get from Fyshwick onto Fairbairn to get to the inner north going to be permanent? You used to just turn left into Fairbairn. Now you have to head north for ages and then loop back. Another reason to not vote Labor.

Appears to have been designed by the same people who designed Glenloch interchange.

Masquara 9:02 pm 23 Apr 16

Is that ridiculous extra near-kilometre loop to get from Fyshwick onto Fairbairn to get to the inner north going to be permanent? You used to just turn left into Fairbairn. Now you have to head north for ages and then loop back. Another reason to not vote Labor.

rubaiyat 11:44 am 23 Apr 16

On the absolute principle of user pays, how much are drivers having to pay to cross this very expensive piece of infrastructure? If it is truly an essential addition they won’t mind paying for shaving a few minutes off the trip, or do they only want it if someone else pays?

And let me congratulate all involved in multiplying the number of roads up Majura Valley to triple parallel roads at one point, almost burying the 350 million year old brachiopod fossils and totally dividing one side of the valley from the other and subsuming a lot of very fertile land.

dungfungus 10:45 am 23 Apr 16

gooterz said :

It certainly sounds like Mrs Fraser has built a bridge over the infamous hotel foyer incident. 🙂

Oh, that was funny.
I actually laughed so much my pants fell down.

John Moulis 9:01 am 23 Apr 16

Tamie’s changed her tune. In John Edwards’s book Life Wasn’t Meant To Be Easy (Mayhem Press, 1977), Edwards writes that Tamie Fraser broke down in tears on the War Memorial steps on her first day in Canberra after Mal won the election devastated at the thought she would have to spend at least the next three years in Canberra.

Holden Caulfield 10:54 pm 22 Apr 16

It certainly sounds like Mrs Fraser has built a bridge over the infamous hotel foyer incident. 🙂

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