Bailey asks Coalition to 'return' Qld’s road funding


Minister says being more vulnerable to extreme climate conditions, Queensland needs more federal support

Bailey asks Coalition to 'return' Qld’s road funding
Bailey says Queensland could be on the verge of tough new tests.

 

Queensland hopes to get the money back that was "siphoned" off to be spent on other states in the federal Budget today.

State main roads and road safety minister Mark Bailey says he hopes the Turnbull Government will reallocate the road funding, which was announced and then delivered only in part, to Queensland.

"The federal government originally allocated $375 million in NARP [Northern Australia Roads Programme] funding for Queensland in their last budget, but they went back on their word giving us just $223.8 million," Bailey says.

He says Queensland deserves more federal support than other states and territories as it is more prone to natural disasters as a result of extreme climate conditions, as seen during Cyclone Debbie and the subsequent flooding events last month.

"Queensland is a vast decentralised state with some 186,000 kilometres of public roads including 33,343 km of state-controlled roads, which is more than any other state or territory," Bailey says.

"Of course more funding should be spent on Queensland’s roads infrastructure than of the other States/Territories.

"We’re also subject to extreme climate conditions more than others that impact our roads network like cyclones and flooding."

Bailey says the state government was prepared to deliver its 20 per cent share on as many as 26 road infrastructure projects but the federal government only agreed to support 10.

"This means projects like installing overtaking lanes or improving heavy vehicle safety on the Flinders Highway between Townsville and Charters Towers missed out."

Queensland highlights some of the more urgent NARP projects that lack Coalition’s backing:

  • National Land Transport Network road renewal
  • Flinders Highway (Townsville – Charters Towers) overtaking lanes
  • Flinders Highway (Townsville – Charters Towers) heavy vehicle safety and productivity package
  • Capricorn Highway (Rockhampton – Duaringa) Valentine Creek bridge upgrade
  • Landsborough Highway (Barcaldine – Cloncurry) heavy vehicle rest areas and stopping places
  • Capricorn Highway (Duaringa – Emerald):  Gregory Highway intersection upgrade.

Citing the leaked parts of the infrastructure plan this week as proof, Bailey says Queensland could be on the verge of more stringent rules that could result in additional regulatory barriers.

"Apparently tough new tests are going to be imposed on the states as part of its infrastructure plan, but what will this do apart from increasing red tape, paperwork and causing project delays."

The minister is not pleased with a blanket policy for conditional user pay plan on all new motorways.

He says such an approach is flawed as it will not be fair on taxpayers if there are no alternative routes in place.

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