A Shorten Labor Government would invest $21.6 million to upgrade Stanage Bay Road in Central Queensland, to make it safer for local residents, defence force personnel and tourists.
Stanage Bay Road runs for nearly 85 kilometres from the Bruce Highway to Stanage and is heavily used by Australian Defence Force (ADF) vehicles accessing the Shoalwater Bay Defence Training Area.
For decades, Central Queensland, and the Livingstone Shire in particular, have strongly supported ADF training at Shoalwater Bay and the facility is to be expanded under an agreement between the ADF and the Government of Singapore.
Despite the wear and tear caused by military vehicles using the road, the responsibility for its upkeep has fallen upon the ratepayers of the Livingstone Shire Council.
This burden will only grow, with the number of military vehicles using the road expected to increase, as a result of the proposed $1 billion expansion of the Defence Training Area.
It’s not fair to expect ratepayers alone to carry the burden of upgrading the road.
Federal Labor’s investment would allow the road to be sealed with bitumen to the entry gate of the training area, reducing costs for ratepayers and improving safety for residents, graziers, fishermen and tourists in the area.
The project will also create local jobs, with an average of 35 direct jobs estimated to be supported. This would be in addition to the jobs that will be created as a result of the Defence Training Area expansion.
Labor believes the Federal Government should provide this investment to ensure Stanage Bay Road is fit for purpose, not just for military traffic, but also for the people of the region.
The local LNP MP has failed to deliver this much-needed funding for her region, just as she failed to prevent the ADF from trying to compulsorily acquire prime agricultural land when the defence expansion was first announced.
Federal Labor won’t stand by and leave local ratepayers to carry the can.