Coalition called out on Bruce Hwy funding claims

NATIONALS Leader Warren Truss has hit out at reports the Coalition was willing to fund the Bruce Highway to the tune of $8 billion, when the party has committed only to half that amount.

Mr Truss's comments come after several days of tit-for-tat attacks between the Gillard Government, Queensland Government and the Federal Opposition.

While details on the Coalition's actual plans for the highway have been scant, Mr Truss reiterated the Opposition was willing to fund it to $4 billion.

He said recent reports the Coalition would hand $8 billion to the State Government for Bruce Hwy works were "clearly wrong".

"The Newman government has committed an extra $1 billion to the Bruce Hwy," he said.

"In response, the Coalition has been clear that meeting that commitment under the normal 80:20 funding split is achievable - making the Commonwealth's share at least $4 billion."

While Mr Truss' guarantee of an 80:20 funding ratio for the highway would mean a continuance of current Labor promises, he would not be drawn on how much money would actually be on the table if the party won government in September.

He said the Coalition would only be making funding commitments once they had seen the budget figures, indicating it could be more than three months before Queenslanders find out what the Opposition is offering for the "goat track".

Mr Truss's comments came after Prime Minister Julia Gillard travelled up and down the Queensland coast this week, spruiking $4.1 billion in grants for the highway, $1.7 billion of which was later revealed to previously allocated.

Infrastructure Minister Anthony Albanese said it was time the Coalition revealed their funding plans.

"Tony Abbott and Joe Hockey must either back in Mr Truss' promise and tell us where the money is coming from or repudiate it and come clean with their real plans," he said.

The Coalition has repeatedly said it would not release any funding announcements until the final budget position statement is released in the lead up to the September election.



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