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Wednesday, 3 April 2019
Page: 14619

Mr CHRISTENSEN (Dawson) (13:51): The budget last night showed that the Morrison Liberal-National government has turned around the economic shambles left by Labor and has put us back in the black by focusing on what is important, and it has done that while investing in projects that strengthen our economy and support the industries that keep businesses employing locals. For example, last night's budget included $29.6 million for Shute Harbour Road in the Whitsundays. A critical section of Shute Harbour Road is at Hamilton Plains. This, as locals know only too well, is regularly closed due to flooding. When Hamilton Plains is closed, it stops tourists who are travelling on the Bruce Highway from reaching the Whitsunday coast tourism mecca of Airlie Beach. It stops Whitsunday residents getting to the hospital in times of need. It stops Whitsunday school students getting to school in Proserpine or, worse, from the students' point of view, getting home.

The Queensland Labor government has failed to fix this problem, which is their responsibility; it's a state road. But the federal Liberal-National government understands that fixing this flooding problem not only improves the lives of locals but keeps the tourism industry creating and maintaining local jobs. That's why the government created the Roads of Strategic Importance initiative—to support regional communities and local jobs. Because workers in the Whitsunday region know how important tourism is to their livelihoods, I'm very proud to say the government understands the importance of tourism in the Whitsundays and is strengthening the national economy by backing local industry and jobs.