Premier pressures Labor Govt to match Bruce Hwy funding

The Bruce Highway is one of the State Government's key concerns.
The Bruce Highway is one of the State Government's key concerns.

THE Federal Opposition is under pressure to come up with their blueprint for the embattled Bruce Hwy as the Federal Election looms closer.

The highway is one of the major priorities the Newman Government has flagged as requiring commitments from the federal contenders.

The Queensland Government has committed $1 billion in extra funding to the Bruce Hwy upgrade on the basis an Australian Government matches its contribution and adheres to an 80-20 funding split.

Party alignment is not restricting Premier Campbell Newman from calling for an action plan from his federal counterpart.

"The Bruce is a federal road and is part of the National Hway, and yet it has been ignored by the federal government," he told Parliament this week.

"It is time that the Prime Minister and her cabinet, particularly Labor federal members and senators from Queensland, stopped short-changing Queenslanders.

"At the same time I say that we, as a government, are also after a commitment from Tony Abbott and the federal coalition.

"We want both of the major parties to get up and tell us very clearly in the next five months-as soon as possible-what they are prepared to do for the Bruce Hwy and for Queenslanders."

The Federal Government has indicated it has spent $3.3 billion to maintain and upgrade the Bruce Hway since 2007.

The call for a commitment from Queensland comes as the RACQ predicts between 300-400 people will lose their lives on the 1700km arterial road over the next decade if action is not taken.

Mr Abbott is yet to outline a commitment for the highway but says the Coalition will have more to say in the lead-up to the election.

"There aren't too many years where the Bruce Hwy doesn't get affected somewhere by floods or heavy rainfall and it's very important that we make sure that this lifeline is open; that this lifeline is secure for the people of North Queensland," he said.

"I congratulate Premier Newman for putting a billion dollars towards a serious and sustained upgrade of the Bruce Hwy.

"We must do the right thing by the Bruce Hwy and we'll have a lot more to say about this before the election."

Topics:  australian government bruce highway campbell newman funding queensland government racq

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