MP Stephen Bennett.
MP Stephen Bennett.

State road budget labelled a 'disgrace'

MEMBER for Burnett Stephen Bennett has labelled the state roads budget a disgrace, after he says almost $90 million was ripped from the Wide Bay Burnett region.

Mr Bennett said critical roads infrastructure projects in the Bundaberg region will suffer

"This is an absolute kick in the guts for the people of Bundaberg and Burnett and greater Wide Bay region,” he said.

"We are crying out for critical road infrastructure, but we continue to be ignored by this Labor Government.

"I'm really concerned about what this will mean for critical projects in the Bundaberg region.

"After two major flooding and weather disasters in recent history, Wide Bay and Bundaberg residents who live in flood-prone zones clearly need certainty that positive action will be taken to fully fund mitigation projects, levees and roads, especially to escape routes.”

In a historic moment in Queensland, Mr Bennett said the Parliament voted to condemn the Palaszczuk Labor Government for its 2017 state roads and infrastructure budget.

"With a budget this bad, it's no wonder the Parliamentary condemnation passed is an indictment on the Palaszczuk Labor Government,” he said.

Comparison of capital roads and transport spend 2016-17 vs 2017-18

Crystal Jones

But Member for Bundaberg Leanne Donaldson said the State Government was not ignoring the region.

"The Queensland Government will deliver $197.4 million of road infrastructure in 2017-18 for the Wide Bay Burnett district as part of a record investment in road and transport infrastructure for the second year in a row,” she said.

"Included in that is 20% on the table for the Bruce Hwy and Wide Bay Hwy intersection.

"We committed $2.8 million as part of the $14 million project to improve safety and efficiency at the intersection.

"This project is part of the Palaszczuk Government's record spend on road and transport infrastructure across the state for the second year in a row, with an investment of around $21 billion over the next four years.

"It's also part of the $8.5 billion 10-year Bruce Hwy Upgrade Program jointly funded by the Australian and Queensland governments to improve safety and reduce serious injuries along the whole stretch of the highway form Cairns to Brisbane.”

Ms Donaldson said other Wide Bay projects included in this year's budget are $40 million in 2017-18, to widen the Bruce Hwy to four lanes between Cooroy and Curra (Section C: Traveston to Woondum), at a total cost of $384.2 million and $12.2 million in 2017-18, to widen and rehabilitate pavement on the Bruce Hwy between Hebbards Rd and North South Rd, Apple Tree Creek, total cost of $14.9 million.

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