The Bruce Highway is the scene of continual congestion, especially after a crash.
The Bruce Highway is the scene of continual congestion, especially after a crash. John McCutcheon

Missing piece to Bruce Hwy upgrades

THE RACQ has slammed all tiers of government for announcing major transport projects before securing funding agreements as it seeks answers on a stalled Palaszczuk Government election promise for the Bruce Highway.

Labor promised before the 2017 state election to set up a Bruce Highway Trust that would "take the politics out of upgrading" the state's most important road.

But the trust has still not been formed and the Federal Government, which funds 80 per cent of upgrades for the road, is yet to join, leading key partners including the RACQ and State Opposition to blast the lack of action.

Transport Minister Mark Bailey said the trust "was always meant" to be established in 2019-20 despite no timings specified in the policy.

Transport Minister Mark Bailey announces an M1 action plan before the last election but is being criticised for failing to secure agreement from the Federal Government before announcing a policy for Bruce Highway upgrades.
Transport Minister Mark Bailey announces an M1 action plan before the last election but is being criticised for failing to secure agreement from the Federal Government before announcing a policy for Bruce Highway upgrades.

"The Palaszczuk Government has committed to an annual $200 million contribution as part of a $1 billion per year program to lock in Bruce Highway funding under the trust, however the Federal Government is yet to sign up to this agreement," Mr Bailey said.

Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack said the federal LNP, which has committed $10 billion to improve the road, was "open to working" with the Queensland Government to establish the trust.

Rebecca Michael from RACQ says all tiers of governments are announcing future projects before finalising all the funding details.
Rebecca Michael from RACQ says all tiers of governments are announcing future projects before finalising all the funding details.

RACQ head of public policy Rebecca Michael said the inaction on the trust was symptomatic of a growing trend of governments announcing projects before ensuring all funding was in order.

"RACQ does get frustrated with governments repeatedly announcing projects or initiatives that don't have intergovernmental or bipartisan agreement," she said.

"I think there's a level of political irresponsibility, at best, for announcing things that you haven't actually got … you don't say you've bought a house when you've only got a deposit," she said.

Opposition Leader Deb Frecklington said the Palaszczuk Government needed to "grow up" and stop petty bickering with Canberra.

"The Morrison Government has put billions on the table for new road infrastructure but instead of getting on with it, all Annastacia Palaszczuk has done is play politics," she said.



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