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Wednesday, 26 June 2013
Page: 7127


Mr CHRISTENSEN (Dawson) (13:56): While Labor squabbles about leadership, there are real issues to focus on. In Mackay every weekday, morning and afternoon, workers battle with capital city style traffic congestion, which is fine if you are in a capital city with all of the benefits and services of a capital city but not when you are in Mackay in regional Australia. When we had a truck turn over on Nebo Road, the city came to a literal standstill. Traffic was backed up all the way over Ron Camm Bridge, and people were an hour or more late to work. This is why the Mackay ring road is a desperately needed project.

The Prime Minister came to Mackay on 24 April and indicated to the people that there would be funding for the ring road in the 2013-14 financial year. When the budget came down three weeks later, guess what—no ring road. There was no funding allocation for that project. The Minister for Infrastructure and Transport says that it is part of the Bruce Highway package. That is a package that does not start until 2014-15, so how can funding in that year be funding something in the 2013-14 financial year? Labor's delays in funding push the project back by more than a year. That is a year longer that people are going to have to contend with traffic jams and road chaos throughout Mackay. I have several hundred letters here for the Prime Minister saying, 'Prime Minister, please keep your ring road funding promise.' I seek leave to table that document.

Leave not granted.