Jan 16, 2015

Coalition loses the infrastructure plot

Warren Truss has become so muddled about his infrastructure portfolio that he has accused the Labor Party of opposing road projects which it initiated and funded while in Government.

In a bizarre attempt to prop up his Coalition mates in the Queensland state election campaign, Mr Truss today claimed the ongoing upgrade of the Bruce and Warrego highways was at risk from Labor.

In fact, it was the former Labor federal government, working in partnership with the former Queensland Labor state government that initiated these projects as part of our record investment in Queensland infrastructure.

We’re proud of more than doubling Queensland infrastructure investment from $143 per Queenslander in 2007 to $314 per Queenslander when we left office in 2013.

Warren Truss has no shame given his appalling record on infrastructure investment as transport minister in both the Howard and Abbott governments.

He’s hiding his embarrassment with bluster and the absurd claim that somehow projects which commenced construction while Labor was in Government could be opposed by Labor now.

Since the change of government, Mr Truss has failed to lift total infrastructure investment, including investment in the upgrade of the Bruce Highway.

A section of the Gateway Motorway North project Mr Truss says he initiated has already been opened, having begun under the former Government.

And it was federal Labor that provided record funding to the Warrego Highway.

As for the Toowoomba Range Crossing project, nothing has happened because the Federal Coalition Government is in dispute with the Newman Government over the details.

Mr Truss’s poor record on infrastructure investment began when he was a minister in the Howard Government.

Whilst he was the transport minister, Mr Truss saw no irony in stating that the notorious Cooroy to Curra in his electorate was the most most-dangerous section of road in the country even as he was unable to advance an upgrade.

Fortunately for his constituents and other motorists, the former Labor Government delivered the project, with the major section already open and construction continuing.

We partnered with Queensland Labor government on infrastructure including the Bruce and Warrego Highways, the Townsville Ring Road, the Ipswich Motorway, the Gateway, the Gold Coast Rapid transport light rail system, the Pacific Motorway and the Moreton Bay Rail Link.

On Sunday I will be inspecting the Bruce Highway at Mackay, which is still benefitting from Labor’s record investments, even as the confused Mr Truss has done nothing to advance infrastructure for the region.