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LNP and the Bruce: we've heard it all before

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Media Statement


As he makes his way north along the Bruce Highway, Nationals Leader Warren Truss will have plenty of time to reflect on his failure to properly fund and fix this road when he was Transport Minister in the former Howard Government.

Indeed, nothing better symbolises the neglect of our infrastructure during their twelve long years in office than the poor state of the Bruce Highway.

Nationwide, our LNP predecessors, which included not only Warren Truss but also Tony Abbott, Paul Neville and Warren Entsch, ripped $2 billion out of the Federal roads budget - and did so while raking in more additional tax revenue than any government before or since them.

So Mr Truss has a lot of explaining to do. But first he should stop treating Queenslanders like mugs: a five day road trip doesn’t make up for a decade of neglect and inaction nor substitute for a positive, fully-costed plan for the future.

As well as a chance to reflect on his Party’s dismal record, this week also gives Mr Truss the opportunity to see firsthand the scale of the capital works program now underway along the entire length of the Highway - see attached map.

Right now there are hundreds of workers onsite upgrading 158 kilometres of this road as a result of our decision to significantly increase Federal investment in it. In addition to major upgrades to key sections, we’re also installing 52 new overtaking lanes; fixing 100 dangerous black spots; and building 20 new rest areas.

All up, Federal investment in this road under Labor now stands at a record $2.7 billion over six years, which compared to the Howard Government is more than twice as much in half the time.

On top of all that we are providing hundreds of millions of dollars to repair those sections damaged by last year’s string of natural disasters, with yet another contract awarded only this week. Worth $35 million, this latest package of works will fix 50 flood affected sites along the Highway between Gympie and the Kolan River.

But you don’t just have to take my word for it. Even members of Mr Truss’s own party have acknowledged that things have got a lot better under Labor. According to the LNP member for the Townsville-based electorate of Herbert, Ewen Jones:

“I’ll give Labor a pat on the back and say they have spent more in their four or five years on the Bruce Highway than we did before.”

The bottom line is LNP politicians only show an interest in the Bruce Highway when an election is looming and then just as quickly forget about it when they get into government. They are all spin and no delivery.

Media contact: Jeff Singleton 0410 476 890

Tuesday, 17 July 2012