Bruce Hwy action plan leaves Rocky on road to ruin

Trucks finally roll into Rockhampton from the South after the Bruce Highway was reopened after two weeks once flood waters receded. Photo Chris Ison / The Morning Bulletin ROK140111-truck-c2
Trucks finally roll into Rockhampton from the South after the Bruce Highway was reopened after two weeks once flood waters receded. Photo Chris Ison / The Morning Bulletin ROK140111-truck-c2 Chris Ison

ROCKHAMPTON remains on the bottom rung of the ladder of priorities in fixing the Bruce Hwy.

The LNP State Government yesterday released its 10-year Bruce Hwy Crisis Action Plan titled Out of the Crisis, calling on the Federal Government to allocate more funding.

It was hoped by many that there would be higher prioritisation for regional areas, but in comparison to the former Labor State Government's plan released in December, 2011, not much has changed.

The difference between the LNP plan and the Labor plan is the LNP put dollar figures next to projects and added another layer of prioritisation.

Member for Capricornia Kirsten Livermore said the plan was nothing more than a rehash of the Labor plan, listing much-needed projects for the Rockhampton region at the bottom of the rung.

"It's an amateurish political stunt," she said.

Rockhampton State MP Bill Byrne backed Ms Livermore's comment by saying the State Government was using the agenda as a 'smoke screen' to do nothing.

"They are not doing anything pragmatic in real terms to address the issues," Mr Byrne said.

"It's just spin with no intention of delivering anything."

Deputy Premier Jeff Seeney, when releasing the plan, said it included projects already committed over the next 10 years under base funding arrangements, plus additional projects that are needed to repair, improve and flood-proof the Bruce Hwy.

"The Bruce Hwy is Queensland's 1677km backbone, playing a significant role in building a four-pillar economy by moving people and freight across the State," he said.

"The Newman government will honour its election commitment and contribute an additional $1 billion over the next 10 years, if the Federal Government also brings forward its funding."

However, Mr Byrne hit out at Mr Seeney's comment, saying the State Government was only looking at spending 1% of its promised $1 billion in the first year, according to budget papers.

"Queenslanders would have thought it would be more in the vicinity of $100 million in the first financial year," Mr Byrne said.

Federal Transport and Infrastructure Minister Anthony Albanese said the Federal Government had already invested twice as much in the Bruce Hwy as the former Federal Government.

"The Federal Government has significantly increased funding to an unprecedented $2.8 billion over six years," he said.

"To put that into perspective, the former Howard government put in just $1.3 billion over 12 years."

Mr Albanese said the plan would be given consideration as negotiations continue with the State Government over the next five-year Nation Building Program scheduled to begin in mid-2014.

What's in it for CQ?

Mackay to Rockhampton

Mackay Northern Access Upgrade (capacity, safety)

Mackay Intersection Upgrades - Stage 2 (capacity, safety)

Sarina Northern Access Upgrade (capacity, safety)

Duplication of Mackay to Sarina not expected to be funded (capacity, safety)

Rockhampton to Gympie

Yeppen floodplain south upgrade (flooding)

Rockhampton North Access Upgrade - Stage 1 (capacity, safety)

Childers Bypass Construction works not listed

Topics:  bruce highway

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