‘We’ve been ignored’: Blair MP on fast tracked projects
FIFTEEN major projects have been fast-tracked under an economic rescue package by the Federal government, but only one of them is in Queensland and construction won’t start for another two years.
The one project approved for fast-tracking in Queensland is the Inland Rail, which goes through Victoria, NSW as well.
Member for Blair Shayne Neumann said the coalition had ignored the Ipswich region and the rest of the state.
“The inland rail is not a popular project locally and has very little benefit for our local members. In fact, it’s going to be a significant inconvenience and impact on the lifestyle and livelihoods locally,” Mr Neumann said.
Mr Neumann said additional funding could have been allocated to the Cunningham Hwy, the Ipswich Mwy and for Ipswich City Council’s business case for a Springfield to Ipswich transport corridor.
“The federal coalition government has a typically southern focus and not a focus on Queensland and the infrastructure spending here is indicative of that,” he said.
Deputy Prime Minister and Infrastructure Minister Michael McCormack has defended the project choices, saying they were identified in consultation with the states and that additional cash had been granted for road safety upgrades in the state.
Mr McCormack said the Morrison Government had committed $324 million in June towards smaller shovel ready projects and road safety upgrades to “drive jobs and boost the economy”.
“These infrastructure projects will also be crucial in helping us bounce back after the COVID-19 crisis by ensuring we have the safe transport connections needed for all of Australia to keep moving,” he said.
He said the design of the Inland Rail continued to be progressed with community input and independent assessments.