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30 March 2001 B16/2001


National Party Senate Leader and Parliamentary Secretary, Senator Ron Boswell today hailed the opening of the $25 million Centenary of Federation Thomson River Bridge as proof of the National Party's role in providing lasting benefits to rural and regional communities when in Government.

Senator Boswell said the Thomson River Bridge project was not just one bridge, but a series of 16 bridges across the floodplain of the Thomson River. The largest is a six span 95metre bridge.

"The bridges will provide a much needed economic stimulus to the region. For example due to improved access to the previously flood bound saleyards there should be more cattle sales, and tourists will be prepared to travel more during the wet season," Senator Boswell said.

"We have listen and delivered, in stark contrast to One Nation whose only achievement are Labor Governments in this State and Western Australia.

"National Party Leader, John Anderson, the local community and I fought for Federal Government funding for a new bridge across the Thomson River flood plain to ensure year round access to Longreach.

"Today is a great day, it shows what can be done when a Government listens and delivers vital infrastructure to rural areas," Senator Boswell said.

National Party Candidate for Capricornia, John Lever who was attending the official opening of the Thomson River Bridge said that some people say that the National Party is not listening, yet they cannot say it is not delivering.

"This Federation Bridge is a monument to the builders in society," John Lever said.

"This bridge came about because of the hard work of the local community and the National Party. Neither the ALP or One Nation can claim any credit for this great piece of infrastructure," John Lever said.

Senator Boswell said that he was pleased to see the Leader of the National Party, John Anderson had announced that access to the Federal funded $1.2 billion 'Roads to Recovery Program' was to be speeded up for Councils who wished to access their funding allocations early than originally budgeted.

"Shires in the region are set to receive big funding boosts. Longreach Shire has been allocated $1.88m, Winton $2.94m, Aramac $1.26m, while Ilfracombe will receive $371,000 and Barcaldine $297,000.

"This funding initiative will be a welcome contribution to fixing the state of the roads in the region.

Senator Boswell called on the State Government to stop trying to abrogate its responsibilities and match the Federal Government's commitment to local governments in the region," Senator Boswell said.


Contact: Tom Chesson: (07) 30018150 / 0417 225 176 

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© Commonwealth of Australia 2000 Last updated:  Monday, 02 April 2001