Highway upgrade will be Queensland’s biggest infrastructure project
The LNP will launch the biggest infrastructure project regional Queensland has ever seen if it wins the next state election – four-laning the Bruce Highway from Cairns to Gympie.
The massive construction project will cost an estimated $33bn over the next 15 years, creating 100,000 jobs and supercharging coastal economies.
LNP Leader Deb Frecklington said Queensland companies would be given preference for contracts over interstate and international construction corporations – with tenders scaled to allow local small and medium-sized businesses to bid.
“With almost 200,000 Queenslanders out of work, we need major infrastructure projects to create jobs and drag us out of recession,” Ms Frecklington said.
“Four-laning the Bruce Highway will create the jobs we need right now, but it will also benefit Queensland for generations to come.
“The upgraded Bruce Highway will have a speed limit of 110kmh and will boost the economic productivity of regional Queensland and Brisbane too.
“Labor have short-changed the regions for years when it comes to infrastructure.
“An LNP Government will ensure the regions finally get the investment they need and deserve.
“The Bruce Highway is Queensland’s most important economic lifeline but long stretches of the road are slow, dangerous and prone to flooding.
“The LNP will build a faster, safer and more resilient Bruce Highway.
“Our plan for the Bruce is bold and ambitious, but I believe Queensland must start building for the future.
“That’s why the LNP’s economic plan also includes the New Bradfield Scheme, as well as five new regional dam projects.
“Only the LNP has a plan to get Queensland working again.”
Ms Frecklington said an LNP Government would immediately invest $50m in planning for a four-lane Bruce from Curra, just north of Gympie, to Cairns.
In addition, an LNP Government will increase the annual Bruce Highway budget by 125% – from $200m to $440m.
An LNP Government would work with the Morrison Federal Government to secure an 80:20 federal-state funding arrangement to meet the $33bn cost of the 15-year project.
A dedicated panel of local construction contractors will be assembled to ensure regional companies are prioritised when contracts are awarded.
Construction will create an estimated 6820 full-time jobs a year – more than 100,000 jobs over the life of the project.
“I want every dollar that we spend on the Bruce to come back to Queenslanders,” Ms Frecklington said.
“Now is the time to look after our own.”
The Bruce Highway is a two-lane road for 1470km of its total 1650km length.
“Four-laning the Bruce Highway will improve safety, cut congestion, increase reliability and create jobs,” LNP Shadow Transport Minister Steve Minnikin said.
“Labor announced a Bruce Highway Trust to look at ways to improve the road in 2017, but the trust’s first meeting only took place in July this year – that’s 33 months later.
“The last LNP Government concluded a deal with the Federal Government that secured $8.5bn of upgrades to the Bruce.
“Annastacia Palaszczuk has never backed the Bruce Highway and never will.”
LNP Shadow Treasurer Tim Mander said only the LNP had a plan to build infrastructure that will supercharge Queensland’s regions.
“An LNP Government will be able to fund job-creating infrastructure because we have a plan to grow the economy,” Mr Mander said
“We’ll cut Labor’s waste and invest for growth with projects like four-laning the Bruce Highway and building the New Bradfield Scheme.
“Only the LNP has a plan to stimulate the economy, create a decade of secure jobs and drag Queensland out of recession.
“Only the LNP will get Queensland working again.”