May 13, 2016

Coalition cuts slow Bruce Highway upgrade

The Liberals have failed central Queensland with their go-slow approach to upgrading the Bruce Highway, cutting funding and delaying important work on the project until next decade.

Despite promising in 2013 that it would “fix’’ the Bruce Highway, the Liberal Government has slowed down the work program it inherited from the former Labor Government, delaying the expenditure of at least half of its Bruce Highway budget until after 2019-20.

In the 2015 Budget, the Liberals cut Bruce Highway funding by $143 million over what they had announced 12 months earlier. And in this month’s 2016 Budget, the Abbott-Turnbull Government followed up with $1 billion in cuts to its overall infrastructure program.

The Liberal Government has also sought to conceal its cuts by re-announcing Bruce Highway projects which, like the Yeppen Floodplain project, were funded in budgets of the former Labor Government.

Only a Shorten Labor Government can be trusted to get the Bruce Highway upgrade back on track.

Labor has a proven track record of delivery on this important project.

The former Labor Government invested $5.7 billion on the Bruce Highway over six years, dwarfing the $1.3 billion spent by the former Howard Coalition Government.

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.

More importantly, the upgrade is also vital for road safety, with the Australian Automobile Association listing the Bruce Highway as one of the most dangerous roads in the country.