State defends its motorway promise

AS I told the Queensland Times this week, I'm committed to getting the upgrade of the Ipswich Mwy from Darra to Rocklea under way.

Although I welcome comments from the LNP candidate for Blair Teresa Harding about her support for it too, I need to make one important clarification for her.

She stated the Federal Government's $279million commitment towards the project was still on the table - in fact, it's not.

On July 21 last year then-deputy prime minister Warren Truss wrote to me saying, and I quote: "I have directed my department to remove funding for the project from the Queensland program".

"The Australian Government is willing to reconsider the project for funding at a later time if the Queensland Government agrees to meet its obligations to fund 50% of the project, or is able to propose other suitable funding or financing options involving the private sector," he said.

That's black and white.

The Federal Government removed the funding and they will only put it back if the Queensland Government picks up the extra 30% of the Federal Government's share, or if we look at options involving the private sector - in other words, a toll.

I'm looking to sit down with the new Federal Minister as soon as possible, but in the meantime I thought it was important for Ipswich residents to know exactly where the discussions are starting from.

I urge Ms Harding to do the same, to contact her federal LNP colleagues and get the Federal Government to restore their funding as a priority.

Mark Bailey, MP Minister for Main Roads, Road Safety and Ports


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