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State's $111m for motorway upgrade between Darra and Rocklea

LONG WAIT: The Queensland Government has committed $111.6 million towards the Ipswich Motorway upgrade between Darra and Rocklea.
LONG WAIT: The Queensland Government has committed $111.6 million towards the Ipswich Motorway upgrade between Darra and Rocklea. FILE

THE Ipswich Motorway upgrade between Darra and Rocklea could be a step closer after it was listed as being a critical piece of infrastructure for the state.

Infrastructure Australia says the $558 million upgrade needed to be completed within the next five years or there was a real risk congestion would grind the region to a halt.

The release of the independent organisation's assessment on Wednesday prompted an immediate response.

 

Queensland Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey told the Queensland Times the government would commit $111.6 million towards the project.

He said he was willing to put politics aside and would seek a meeting with his federal counterpart in a bid to ensure the project becomes a reality.

"We want the federal government to come back to the table with their cheque book and let's get this project underway," he said.

"There is some really good value in the construction market at the moment and we believe we can get a lower overall price for the project.

"But the federal government's commitment towards the project also has to be reasonable.

"Short changing Ipswich should not be part of the equation."

The federal government had previously committed $279 million towards the project but negotiations broke down after both parties could not agree on the funding split.

The former federal Labor government offered a 50:50 split but the then LNP state government wanted the historical 80:20 split.

Federal Blair MP Shayne Neumann said both governments needed to draw a line in the sand to get the project going.

He admitted there had been a level of politicking in the past over the project but he said that now needed to stop.

"The time for talk is over," he said.

"Nothing has changed the lifestyle of people more than the Ipswich Motorway - it transformed the region."

Infrastructure Australia identified 93 projects across the nation which it said were key to the nation's future prosperity.

The landmark report also recommends a number of funding changes to ensure the nation can afford to build its infrastructure needs.

It concluded the existing funding system for infrastructure was not working and recommended the development of a user-pays model for motorists.

The Turnbull Government will now consider whether it will adopt any of the recommendations made in the report.

Topics:  darra ipswich motorway mark bailey upgrade



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