MAY 10, 2018: The upgrade of Goorganga Plains near Proserpine and Stage 2 of the Mackay Ring Road are still on the cards and I am planning to secure new funding.
Almost $3 billion in northern roads and Bruce Highway funding announced in the Budget on Tuesday night will provide the avenue.
An additional $3.3 billion was announced in the Budget for more Bruce Highway upgrades and about $1.4 billion of that is not yet earmarked for any specific projects, so we must work on securing about $300 million of that for the Goorganga Plains Upgrade.
I have already put forward the case on the importance of the Goorganga Plains Upgrade to key ministers within the Liberal National Government and now that this new funding has been announced I am prosecuting the case again and redoubling efforts.
The Liberal National Government has already provided $12 million for planning of the Goorganga Plains Upgrade and the Department of Transport and Main Roads have already begun this work.
There is also $1.5 billion in Roads of Strategic Importance funding specifically for road corridors in northern Australia and I am working on Mackay Ring Road Stage 2 being funded out of this program.
In total there is about $3 billion sitting in two buckets for new road projects in Queensland, some specifically for North Queensland, and that wasn’t there before Tuesday night.
I urge local leaders including mayors, state MPs, regional development and industry groups to work with him on securing funding.
We need to focus on joint efforts in lobbying for funding in our electorate because the good news is there is funding in the Budget for these purposes.
But we’ve got to go and fight for it.
It’s not a shock that specific local projects aren’t mentioned in the Budget. They never are.
Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack said the Liberal and Nationals Government’s $75 billion infrastructure programme is delivering for communities around Australia, especially in Queensland.
“Whether it’s our investments in the Bruce Highway or in local roads throughout the Dawson electorate, George Christensen and the Liberal and Nationals Government are delivering – especially the $397.9 million toward the Mackay Ring Road,” Mr McCormack said.
“This week’s Budget has also laid out a plan for a pipeline of infrastructure funding – with a particular focus on Roads of Strategic Importance, $1.5 billion for roads in Northern Australia and beef roads to keep investment rolling.
“We are focused on ensuring Australians can get home sooner and safer and I know George Christensen will keep working to put the Dawson electorate’s projects forward as we build our pipeline of infrastructure programmes.”