May 8, 2011

Albanese and Wallace detail five Bruce Highway upgrades

Albanese and Wallace detail five Bruce Highway upgrades

The Hon Anthony Albanese MP

Minister for Infrastructure & Transport

Leader of the House

Federal Member for Grayndler

May 8 2011

Federal Infrastructure Minister Anthony Albanese and Queensland Roads Minister Craig Wallace today released details of the five Bruce Highway projects which will be reinstated as part of Tuesday’s Federal Budget.

The projects, announced on Saturday by Federal Treasurer Wayne Swan, were deferred early this year to ensure work could be priorities on those roads damaged by Queensland’s unprecedented natural disasters. These projects are now being reinstated as the Gillard Labor Government foreshadowed when it made the original announcement.

The reinstated projects are: • Duplicating the highway between Vantassel Street and Flinders Highway; • Realigning and raising the highway between Sandy Corner and Collinsons Lagoon; • Safety improvements at the Burdekin Road intersection; • Realigning the highway north of Gin Gin between Cabbage Tree Creek and Carmen Road as well as at Back Creek Range to provide a wider road surface on flatter grades, and; • Upgrading the interchanges along the highway between Caboolture and Caloundra.

“Labor has long recognised the Bruce Highway’s importance to the communities living up and down the Queensland coast,” Mr Albanese said.

“That’s why under the Gillard Labor Government Federal investment in this road now stands at a record $2.6 billion over seven years. This compares to the former Howard Government’s record of just $1.2 billion over 12 years.

“While progress over the last three years has been substantial, we’ve always said it would take more than one or two parliamentary terms to fix the years of neglect. For this reason, we will continue delivering the funding and long term planning necessary to build a Bruce Highway which supports rather than hinders Queensland’s rapid growth.”

The works are back on track after the Bligh Government advised the Commonwealth that Queensland had the capacity to complete both the reconstruction activities as well as deliver the scheduled Bruce Highway works.

Mr Wallace said the announcement was great news for the State, especially for Central, North and Far North Queensland.

“Although we have a long way to go to bring the Bruce Highway up to standard, the Gillard Government has provided more money for the Bruce than any other Federal government and I thank them for it.”

Motorists travelling the Bruce Highway are able to see that a large amount of work is being done to upgrade Queensland’s main road lifeline.

Currently it is one of the largest road construction projects in Australia, with around $1.1 billion worth of work underway upgrading 158 kilometres of the Bruce Highway, including its worst stretch, from Cooroy to Curra.

“After more than a decade of neglect by the Howard Government, we are getting on with the job of building a better, safer Bruce Highway,” Mr Albanese said.

Mr Wallace said the LNP Opposition knew nothing about the Bruce Highway, with Campbell Newman admitting he had not travelled on the Bruce Highway for a quarter of century before a recent lighting trip to North Queensland.

“I applaud the decision by the Gillard Government to reinstate these five Bruce Highway projects,” Mr Wallace said.

“I will worth closely with Mr Albanese to get these five projects up and running and to continue the vital work of upgrading the Bruce,” he said.