News

Macfarlane willing to stake political career on Range bypass

Federal Member for Groom Ian Macfarlane.
Federal Member for Groom Ian Macfarlane. Dave Noonan

MEMBER for Groom Ian Macfarlane said he was willing to stake his political career and reputation on the Range bypass being built.

Last year, federal opposition leader Tony Abbott committed $700 million to the project over three years if the Liberal Party won office at this year's federal election.

Mr Macfarlane, talking exclusively to The Chronicle, said he would not seek re-election at the 2016 federal election if the funding was not made available in the first budget under a new Coalition government.

"If we win office and if it is not delivered in the first budget of our new term then I will not seek re-election," Mr Macfarlane said.

"I will not stand again in the seat of Groom at the following election.

"I will stand by these words and statement to anybody who asks me.

"Tony Abbott is on the record in both Brisbane and Melbourne pledging $700 million towards the project.

"The funding is absolutely definite. It is 100 per cent locked in," he said.

Mr Macfarlane said he understood the proposed Range crossing had been a political football for the past three decades.

"It is one of four infrastructure projects we will embark on in our first term if we win office," he said.

"I am willing to stake my political career and reputation on the funding being announced in the first budget.

"It is not an election promise, it is a promise already."

Mr Macfarlane said he understood residents' reluctance to believe construction would start on the much-maligned project.

"The people of Toowoomba will either remember me for getting the Range crossing if we win the election, or not getting it if we lose," he said.

"But I am 100 per cent confident it will the former if we win."

Mr Macfarlane said the remainder of the funding towards the project would come from private enterprise and the State Government.

"It is implausible to think we would spend $700 million and not finish the project," he said.

"One way or another the Range crossing will be completed"

Mr Macfarlane defended claims he had not done enough to push for the Range crossing in previous years.

"During the Howard era, there was never really any great push, especially from both state and local government, for it to happen," he said.

"People said we needed one, but the level of support from government, was not really there as it is now.

"You have to understand, an infrastructure project of this scale in a sparsely populated area was simply unheard of at that time.

"I will admit it was bloody hard work to get the money that I did out of Howard towards the project.

"I have spilt a lot of blood over this and I am determined to see it through."

Topics:  funding, ian macfarlane, range crossing, toowoomba




Cousin's sexual assault: Puberty 'not an excuse'

Ipswich Police Station and Courthouse. Photo: David Nielsen / The Queensland Times

He told the girls "not to tell anyone or he would hurt them”

Hip new food festival hitting Ipswich streets

Cactus Espresso Bar

Did someone say popcorn pork?

Two trucks, a motorcycle and a dual cab stolen in Ipswich

Crimestoppers 1800 333 000.

Help needed to locate four stolen vehicles

Latest deals and offers

Michael Hutchence doco to show a life lived INXS

Michael Hutchence.

Michael Hutchence will live in tell-all feature-length documentary.

Sunshine Coast cooks to do battle for Masterchef crown

asterChef Australia finalists Matt Sinclair and Elena Duggan.

Noosa's Matt and Elena stay mates to the very end.

Matilda The Musical's clean sweep at Helpmann Awards

A scene from Matilda The Musical.

TIM Minchin-scored production enjoys record awards haul.

Harry's MasterChef exit makes way for all-Noosa grand final

Harry Foster congratulates MasterChef finalists Elena Duggan and Matt Sinclair after a closely-fought semi-final.

YOUNG Rocky-born cook now working in his dream job in Tasmania.

Kim Kardashian West bemused by selfie 'drama'

Kim didn't expect her naked selfie to cause the stir it did

Alicia Vikander hasn't been home since Oscars

Alicia Vikander "hasn't been home" for nearly nine months.

You can own this Queensland town for just $1

Yelarbon

Unprecedented auction of town's business centre with no reserve

Work starts on $15M Caloundra apartment building

Turning the first sod at the Aqua View Apartments site in Kings Beach are (from left) husband-and-wife developers Alex Yuan and Stella Sun with construction company Tomkins director Mike Tomkins and Councillor Tim Dwyer.

Developers excited about addition to Kings Beach skyline

72-year-old Coast developer set to start new project

GREEN LIGHT: The Cosmopolitan has been approved for development at Cotton Tree.

Meet the Canberran set to deliver another chapter for Coast suburb

Plans revealed for 1500-lot 'master-planned community'

Precinct will be bounded by Boundary St and Shoesmith Rd

Ecco Ripley sales run sparks prime release

MOVING IN: Sekisui House has announced the release of more residential blocks at Ecco Ripley.

Sekisui House is preparing to unveil more land at Ecco Ripley