The Turnbull Government is continuing its go-slow approach to upgrading the Bruce Highway, with new official figures showing that nearly halfway through its 10-year upgrade program, it has invested only a quarter of its promised budget.
Prior to coming to office in 2013, the Government claimed it would spend $6.7 billion on the Bruce Highway in the decade from 2013-14 onwards.
However, new figures obtained by the Opposition under the Senate Budget Estimates process show that four years into the program, the Government has spent $1.7 billion.
The Bruce Highway is Queensland’s most-important piece of road infrastructure and is central to the movement of freight and people up and down its coast.
While the Government says it is committed to upgrading the highway, the figures show its actions don’t match its rhetoric.
It’s time to stop the go-slow program and get on with improvements that will enhance road safety and deliver productivity gains that will drive economic growth, particularly in regional Queensland.
The Coalition has form when it comes to underspending on the Bruce Highway.
The Howard Coalition invested $1.3 billion on the road in nearly 12 years in office. By contrast, the former Labor Government invested $5.7 billion on the Bruce Highway over six years.