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Labor's Budget leaves Cooroy to Curra miles behind

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Labor’s Budget leaves Cooroy to Curra miles behind 14th May, 2013

Shadow Minister for Infrastructure and Transport and Federal Member for Wide Bay, Warren Truss, today said the Gillard Government’s election Budget fails to fund the completion of the four lane Cooroy to Curra Bruce Highway upgrade.

“People who live in Wide Bay and rely on this section of the Bruce Highway are right to be disappointed that the Gillard Labor Government has again failed to commit to completing the full four laning of the Cooroy to Curra section,” Mr Truss said.

“The Budget effectively confirms that under Labor, the four laning will not even reach Gympie until at least 2025.

“I am appalled that the Federal Labor Government’s Budget fails to establish a plan to fund the full upgrade. Labor fails to understand just how critical this road project is, for Wide Bay, for Queensland and for Australia.

“We need this investment now to improve safety and to improve the carrying capacity of the road. Numerous studies have found that the Cooroy to Curra section is the most treacherous stretch of highway in Queensland and fixing it should be the Government’s highest priority.

“The former Coalition Government announced in 2005 that the Cooroy to Curra four lane project, including the Gympie bypass, would be finished by 2020. It is now 2013 and Labor still has no plan to get the job done.

“Labor’s refusal to fund construction of the remaining sections means that motorists will have to put up with changing road conditions, changing speed limits and changing road quality for years and years to come - all while traffic volumes continue to rise,” Mr Truss said.

“In 2008, the Rudd Government only agreed to provide funding for Section B to bail the former Bligh Labor Government out of the cost of diverting the Highway around their Traveston Crossing Dam proposal - a dam that will now never be built.

“Last year, Labor announced that construction would begin on Section A early this year, which extends the four lanes from Cooroy to Sankey’s Road. This was only made possible because the Newman LNP State Government prioritised and fast tracked funding to start it.

"The Coalition is committed to upgrading the Bruce Highway to eliminate black spots, improve the carrying capacity of the road and make it as flood-proof as possible.”