Candidates debate the Bruce Highway

LABOR candidate for Hinkler Tim Lawson has lashed out over the Bruce Highway.

"The LNP have failed Hinkler residents with their go-slow approach to upgrading the Bruce Highway, cutting funding and delaying important work on the project until next decade," Tim Lawson said.

"Despite promising in 2013 that it would 'fix' the Bruce Highway, the LNP Government has slowed down the work program it inherited from the former Labor Government, delaying the expenditure of at least half of its Bruce Highway budget until after 2019-20.

"In the 2015 Budget, the LNP cut Bruce Highway funding by $143 million over what they had announced just 12 months earlier. And in the 2016 Budget, the Abbott-Turnbull Government followed up with $1 billion in cuts to its overall infrastructure program."

Mr Lawson claimed "the LNP has also sought to conceal its cuts by re-announcing Bruce Highway projects which were funded in budgets of the former Labor Government".

"The only reason the LNP think they can get away with games like this is because Hinkler is a safe LNP seat.

"As I talk to people throughout the seat of Hinkler it is clear that our community wants, at the very least, for Hinkler to become a marginal seat, and plenty more, including myself, want to see real change."

"Only a Shorten Labor Government can be trusted to get the Bruce Highway upgrade back on track. Labor has a proven track record on this important project."

However, Member for Hinkler said Mr Lawson's claims were untrue. 

"The Labor candidate's claims that Bruce Highway funding has been cut are false," Mr Pitt said. 

"The Coalition remains committed to continuing our $6.7 billion program of works but also accelerating projects where possible.

"Since I was elected in 2013, almost $30 million in upgrades have been carried out on the 89.7km stretch of the Bruce Highway in Hinkler."

He said works on the Bruce Highway were ongoing under the Coalition. 

"Work will soon start to upgrade four sites of the Bruce Highway between Howard and Childers, which involves widening and resurfacing to allow a painted wide centre line treatment to be put in place," Mr Pitt said. 

"And a new southbound overtaking lane will also provide motorists with another opportunity to safely pass slow-moving vehicles."

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