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The Coalition's plan to fix the Bruce Highway

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The Coalition's plan to Fix the Bruce Highway

17th July, 2013

Joint Media Release

Hon Tony Abbott MHR Opposition Leader

Hon Warren Truss MHR Leader of The Nationals Shadow Minister for Infrastructure and Transport

THE Coalition is determined to fix the Bruce Highway.

Our commitment will provide an investment of $6.7 billion and we will partner with the Queensland Government to deliver an $8.5 billion upgrade of the Bruce Highway over 10 years.

Along with our existing commitment to provide $1 billion to the Gateway Motorway, this means that Queensland's east coast highway will receive a nearly $10 billion upgrade from the federal Coalition and the Queensland Government.

A Coalition government will end the neglect that has cost too many lives and has stymied the economic potential of Queensland.

Our plan to fix the Bruce Highway includes $2.1 billion over the next four years and a further $4.6 billion over the following six years. This is $2.6 billion more than Labor’s inadequate commitment to this nationally significant road.

We will work with the Queensland LNP Government to deliver on our commitment. We will provide funding certainty by entering into an 80:20 funding agreement with the Queensland Government for national highways outside the capital cities.

As the primary road link between Cairns and Brisbane, the 1,700km Bruce Highway connects the major regional communities of Townsville, Mackay, Rockhampton, Gladstone, Maryborough and the Sunshine Coast.

Our policy to fix the Bruce Highway includes almost 70 major projects over the next 10 years. Coalition and Queensland Government funding of major projects on the Bruce Highway over the next four years includes:

* Cooroy to Curra project - completing Section A and commencing Section C ($885 million) * Yeppen Floodplain upgrade ($246m) * Caloundra Rd to Sunshine Motorway upgrade - commence construction on Stage 1 and planning for Stage 2 ($250m) * Mackay Ring Road - Stage 1 part construction ($205m) * Townsville Ring Road - Stage 4 ($175m) * Caboolture to Caloundra Upgrade ($122m) * Vantassel St to Flinders Hwy duplication ($113m)

* Calliope Crossroads ($53m) * Sandy Gully Bridge Upgrade ($57m)

We will also undertake major projects following the forward estimates that Labor has not committed to. These projects include:

* Cooroy to Curra - completing Section C ($808m) * Caloundra Road to Sunshine Motorway - Stage 2 ($743m) * Edmonton to Gordonvale duplication ($481m) * Tiaro flood immunity upgrade ($107m) * Saltwater Creek upgrade ($103m) * Rockhampton bypass - plan and preserve ($65m) * Cairns Southern Access Corridor Stage 2 ($58m) * Ingham to Cardwell range deviation - plan and preserve corridor ($48m) * Tinana Interchange ($38m)

There are compelling road safety and economic cases for fixing the Bruce Highway.

The Bruce Highway is one of the most treacherous roads in Australia.

Each year, on average, there are 50 deaths and 400 serious injuries on the Bruce Highway.

The Royal Automobile Association of Queensland estimates that without further action to upgrade the Highway, an additional 350 people will die and 5,000 will be injured over the next decade.

Economically, it is estimated that the Bruce Highway contributes $11.5 billion each year to the Queensland economy and supports 60,000 jobs.

However, too much of the Highway is prone to flooding and road closures. The Highway is regularly cut off by flooding at up to 33 sites. The regular closures of the Highway impede the economic growth of regional Queensland.

With Queensland’s population and economy certain to grow in coming years, community concerns about congestion, road closures and safety will only escalate.

Queensland needs real action to fix the Bruce Highway and for that to start now.

Queenslanders can be confident that we will honour our commitment because only the Coalition will bring the Budget under control.

Fixing the Bruce Highway is an integral part of the Coalition’s plan to build a strong, prosperous economy.

We won’t just talk about fixing the Bruce Highway, we will actually do it.