LNP balks at commitment to upgrade of motorway
LNP candidate for Blair Teresa Harding is unable to commit any funding to the Darra to Rocklea upgrade of the Ipswich Motorway just yet.
But she has told residents to stay tuned for a possible announcement in the weeks before the election.
Labor has committed $279 million towards the project that in its entirety will cost $2.618 billion. The recently released Infrastructure Australia Plan identifies the upgrade as a priority.
It states that the Rocklea to Darra section of the motorway experiences significant travel time delays of between 20 and 25 minutes in the AM and PM peaks and poor travel reliability. It also refers to the inability of the motorway to handle the freight network and that this is leading to "an overall constrained economic growth potential for Australia's economy".
Section 1c of the project costs $1.006 billion but package one will cost $558 million. This includes a motorway upgrade to three lanes between Oxley Rd and Suscatand St, a northern service road across Oxley St and ramp rationalisation.
The QT asked Ms Harding what the Coalition's plans were for funding the upgrade.
"The Coalition has a plan to build a strong, prosperous economy and we'll have more to say regarding infrastructure investment in the weeks leading up to the election," she said.
Blair MP Shayne Neumann said the Coalition had no intention of funding the project and their stance would hold up the economic development of the region.
"Queensland has 11 priority projects....and the Ipswich Motorway upgrade is one of the priority threshold projects at the top," Mr Neumann said.
"The Coalition won't make any commitment and my opponent won't either. She goes into hiding on the issue. We've made a $279 million down-payment for the upgrade to get it kick started and we will finish it."
Coalition Leader Tony Abbott did not respond to a request for comment.