May 31, 2013

Bruce Highway Upgrade and Mackay Ring Road – Letter to the Editor – Daily Mercury (Mackey)

I write in response to the full page ad taken out by the Member for Dawson George Christensen on Saturday 25 May about the Mackay Ring Road.

By claiming there is no funding towards the Ring Road in the Budget, Mr Christensen either shows he’s completely devoid of any knowledge of the Budget, or he is being deliberately misleading.

He points toward so-called evidence that no new funding will be made available until 2014-15.  Well, that’s totally consistent with what the Prime Minister and I said in Rockhampton in April this year when we announced the $4.1 billion Ten Year Bruce Highway Plan.

This is because the Queensland Government is still busy spending the $10 million we’ve already put towards starting the planning for the Mackay Ring Road. Community consultation is underway right now with money locked away in the Budget to get construction started.

Let’s not forget, when Federal Labor took office back in 2007, no route had been identified for the Mackay Ring Road, no detailed planning had been done and no funding had been secured.

The LNP is only interested in playing politics, not progressing real projects. For the last six years, Mr Christensen and the LNP have not pledged a single dollar towards the Bruce Highway. Furthermore, Mr Christensen has not asked me a single question in the Parliament about any aspect of the Bruce Highway.

The LNP’s deafening silence on what they are willing to put into this critical road only reinforces they will never lift a finger to “fix the Bruce”. Last time the Coalition was in power, they only spent $1.3 billion on this road over twelve years.

Meanwhile, Federal Labor is getting on with the job and has committed an unprecedented $5.7 billion for the Bruce Highway since late 2007.  We’re delivering real money for real projects, which will deliver real benefits for Bruce Highway motorists.