State Government rejects funding offers for Ipswich Motorway
COMPLETING the Ipswich Motorway is on hold after the Newman Government rejected funding offers from both Labor and the Coalition.
This week Liberal Senator George Brandis joined Blair and Oxley candidates Teresa Harding and Andrew Nguyen to announce they would match Labor's $279 million to kick start the project.
The Rocklea to Darra stretch of the motorway is often reduced to gridlock during peak-hour traffic, acting as a bottleneck since the $2.8 billion upgrade from Dinmore was finished last year.
But Transport Minister Scott Emerson's office said the funding represented a 50/50 split between State and Federal governments.
A spokesperson for Mr Emerson said the project should be split 80/20.
An 80/20 split would mean a $446 million federal contribution and $112 million state contribution.
"Our position has not changed. We support an 80/20 funding split, which has always been the standard with national roads," the spokesperson said.
"We continue to speak to both federal Labor and federal Coalition to get a fair deal for this road.
"These discussions will continue after the election."
The project has been designed by Transport and Main Roads to expand the highway to six-lanes and was expected to go out to tender mid-2014.
Mayor Paul Pisasale backed Mr Emerson's stance on funding and said it must be a six-lane upgrade.
He said the Federal Government collected 80% of taxes and the project should be funded accordingly.
"What Mr Emerson is saying is 100% in regards to the Federal Government, they do hold the purse strings of Australia," he said.
"It's important it is not used as a political football.
"It is needed for our capital city and Ipswich. We need to have this happen and they will get a financial return on it."
Blair MP Shayne Neumann said the funding rejection proves the Coalition has no intention of completing the motorway.
He said the $279 million would be put aside to complete the project.
"We have put it aside and it is there and available and budgeted for," he said.
LNP candidate for Blair Teresa Harding said the Coalition was also committed to working with the State Government to finalise a fair funding agreement for the project if elected.
"The Coalition is focused on delivering a strong united government that will work with the State Government to deliver this project, not against them like Labor continues to do," she said.