Feb 13, 2019

Media Release – Coalition too hopeless to deliver North Queensland road upgrades – Wednesday, 13 February 2019

The Abbott-Turnbull-Morrison Government has failed to deliver nearly $120 million in promised road upgrades designed to boost economic productivity and create jobs in Northern Queensland.

In 2015 the Government created its Northern Australia Roads Program and the Northern Australia Beef Roads Program, promising they would ignite economic growth in the nation’s North.

But according to the Government’s own Budget documents, the Coalition has delivered less than half the funds promised to Queensland under the two programs.

Since funding became available in 2016, it has promised Queensland $155.6 million under the Northern Australia Roads Program, but actually provided $87.2 million – a shortfall of $68.4 million.

It has also promised $86.4 million under the Beef Roads Program, but provided only $35.5 million – a shortfall of nearly $51 million.

There is no excuse for this incompetence.

North Queensland has great potential for growth. If we get the infrastructure right, governments working together can supercharge the region’s economic development, allowing businesses to prosper and create new jobs for locals, while also attracting new residents.

But the Coalition has proven incapable of delivery. As has been the case in so many of its infrastructure investment programs, it simply cannot match its rhetoric with outcomes.

A Shorten Labor Government would deliver investment under the $5 billion Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility, including allocating $1 billion from NAIF to tourism infrastructure.

Tourism is already critical to the North Queensland economy, but we see potential for its further expansion and in government would back in that potential with genuine investment.