Budget doesn’t deliver enough for Qld: RACQ

The State’s peak motoring body has expressed disappointment the Turnbull Government had used some clever accounting to short change Queenslanders in transport investment.

Bruce Highway

RACQ Head of Public Policy Rebecca Michael said while the Federal Budget had funded some key Queensland projects, the State had been fleeced out of hundreds of millions of dollars in road and rail investment.

“In the lead up to the Budget, the Government talked up its infrastructure spend, but for roads and rail, we’re about $400 million down on last year. This is made worse because it’s delivered 20 percent less than what it promised,” Dr Michael said.

“And with road fatalities in Queensland up 20 percent year to date, now’s not the time to cut road funding in favour of a Budget surplus.”

While the overall spend was down, Dr Michael welcomed investment in some vital Queensland projects.

“We’re pleased the Government’s funded some of RACQ’s key priorities – Brisbane Metro and the M1 receive money, and investment in the Bruce Highway is up by 50 percent, meaning Pine Rivers to Caloundra will be upgraded, and we’ll get the much-needed Gympie Bypass,” she said.

“But unfortunately, Queenslanders will only benefit if the Government spends every dollar making sure these projects happen.

“We’re also concerned the Urban Congestion Fund, one of the showpieces of the Budget, has no money allocated this year. The piggy bank really is empty on this one – $1 billion of the Government’s Budget for infrastructure is worth nothing unless it’s elected next year.

Dr Michael said the Club also called on the Queensland Government to work with the Turnbull Government to ensure budgeted projects received the funding required to get these projects off the ground.

“We need the State and Federal Governments to ensure we don’t lose more time, funding and potentially lives by getting caught up in a political blame game. Let’s make sure every dollar budgeted is spent this year.”