Broncos legend Darren Lockyer with the Brothers Junior Rugby League Football Club kids at Blacksoil where his name adorns the highway.
Broncos legend Darren Lockyer with the Brothers Junior Rugby League Football Club kids at Blacksoil where his name adorns the highway. Sarah Harvey

Highway renamed for Lockyer

DARREN Lockyer won't get to hold a premiership cup above his head on Sunday night but yesterday the Bronco legend held a somewhat more unusual accolade aloft.

The retiring rugby league champion was presented with his own personal road sign as an 85km section of the Warrego Hwy was renamed "Warrego Highway: Darren Lockyer Way".

The renamed section runs from Riverview to the bottom of the Toowoomba Range at Withcott.

Radio personality Gary Hargraves first proposed the idea on his afternoon program less than a month ago and public and political support quickly followed.

Lockyer said the recognition would at least make a few regular questions easier to answer.

"People alway ask me if I have a connection with the Lockyer Valley and I guess there is now," he said.

"It's a road I travelled regularly as a kid so I do know the stretch pretty well.

"It feels pretty surreal but it's a huge honour and I do feel very fortunate."

State MP for Lockyer Ian Rickuss said while he was happy the footballer was being recognised, he was disappointed with the choice of name.

"I think the minister took the soft option here," he said.

"I've been calling for a while to have the section named the Lockyer Highway.

"It would have reflected the Lockyer Valley region, Edmund Lockyer who travelled up the Brisbane River and landed at Lockyer Creek in 1825, and now Darren as well."

Main Roads Minister Craig Wallace earlier confirmed the reason behind the chosen name.

"To avoid confusion, the section of the road will be officially known as 'Warrego Highway: Darren Lockyer Way', so this means local residents' and mailing addresses won't be affected," he said.

Ipswich mayor Paul Pisasale said he hoped the renaming would go hand-in-hand with a road safety message.

"We want the young kids here to know that when they get their licence the only place to speed is when you're on the wing playing footy," he said.

Cr Pisasale quipped: "Darren will be inspecting it on a weekly basis to make sure there are no potholes."

 


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