Media Release – Coalition late to the party on investment in Queensland regional roads – Wednesday, 27 March 2019
The Morrison LNP Government is a late convert to the cause of investing in Queensland’s regional road network.
After almost six years of neglect and cuts, it has taken the approach of a Federal election to provoke action from the LNP in Canberra, who have today announced a regional road funding package.
However, the proposed works mirror a comprehensive investment package Bill Shorten and I announced last September after extensive negotiations with regional communities.
Our package was carefully framed in response to the advocacy of the Inland Queensland Roads Action Project, which brings together 28 local councils, Regional Development Australia committees and the RACQ.
In delivering these projects, a Federal Labor Government would insist that local contractors have opportunities to bid for the work and that at least 10 per cent of workers involved would be apprentices.
Once again, Labor has been leading from Opposition on infrastructure.
The LNP’s neglect has exacerbated traffic congestion in our cities and denied regional communities the road projects needed to boost productivity and improve road safety – and the cuts will continue if they are re-elected.
Their own Budget documents show that Federal infrastructure grants to the states will fall in each of the next few years from $7 billion in 2017-18 to $4.5 billion in 2021-22.
By contrast, the last time Labor was in office, we invested nearly $9 billion into Queensland’s railways and roads over six years, boosting infrastructure investment on a per-capita basis from $143 per Queenslander to $314.
Looking ahead, Federal Labor has already announced support for a range of projects in regional Queensland including:
- Widening the Townsville Port Channel
- Extending the Bruce Highway through Cairns
- The Rookwood Weir
- The Mackay and Rockhampton ring roads.
- Capricornia Highway upgrade with extra passing lanes
- Rockhampton-Yeppoon Road upgrade
- Gladstone Port Access Road