With the May Budget rapidly approaching, Federal Member for Capricornia, Michelle Landry, has outlined what she hopes to see in next Tuesday’s Federal Budget.
At the top of Ms Landry’s wish list is to see the Federal Labor Government to show their full commitment to major infrastructure projects through re-funding the Rockhampton Ring Road.
Following Labor’s first Budget in October last year, which saw Capricornia swindled of $1.5 billion of investment into regional and rural projects, the Federal Member for Capricornia wants this investment reinstated.
Ms Landry said Central Queenslanders are fed up with being put last when it comes to funding for much needed infrastructure projects.
“The Rockhampton Ring Road is a much needed infrastructure project that was fully funded prior to Labor entering Government.
“Our community is crying out for critical infrastructure projects, particularly as travel times for those commuting through Rockhampton are increasing as more traffic congests the city during peak hours,” Ms Landry said.
Other projects which are needed for Capricornia include increasing the Rockhampton Airport’s capacity through construction of Bay 7 and integrated freight hub.
This project will fortify Rockhampton as a key aviation hub in Queensland and increase military capabilities and FIFO movements.
As Rookwood Weir nears completion, the integrated freight hub will service the expanding agriculture sector in the region.
Phillips Creek Bridge on Saraji Road between Dysart and Moranbah is still waiting on the Federal Government to put the money on the table, following a commitment of $14.4 million in February 2022 from the Coalition Government.
“I am very pleased that I was able to secure over $14 million for the replacement of Phillips Creek Bridge in 2022. What has deeply disappointed me, however, is that we are still waiting on the Labor Government to provide this funding so those who travel this stretch of road can do so more safely.
“A replacement bridge will support year-round access and improvements to safety will ensure this region continues to grow and prosper,” Ms Landry said.
Major work is also required for the safety of drivers on the Bruce Highway between Rockhampton and Mackay, with many travellers being left frustrated with the sheer lack of overtaking lanes.
“I regularly travel this stretch of the Bruce Highway as I visit communities in my electorate. Every time I see travellers testing their luck when passing in dangerous areas due to not enough suitable passing lanes.
“Not only are there not enough overtaking lanes, but the road condition is deplorable. Yet, Labor ripped $1.2 billion from the Budget last year for the Bruce Highway.
“Lives will continue to be lost on this stretch of highway unless this funding is reinstated,” Ms Landry said.
Capricornia is a key economic driver through the many strong small businesses and resources sector that pour money back into the economy.
Leading into the Brisbane Olympics, Ms Landry anticipates for some of the prosperity which is created in Capricornia be returned through upgrades to sporting precincts to assist in training teams leading into the Games.
“Capricornia delivers $9 billion in royalties back to Queensland’s economy from the resources sector. It’s only right that the hard work of Capricornians is rewarded with upgraded and new sporting precincts, infrastructure and funding for community groups,” Ms Landry said.
Grant programs, such as the Building Better Regions Fund and Regional Development Plan which was aimed at funding the nation-building projects for regional Australia, were scrapped by Labor in last year’s October Budget.
“Scrapping these programs has left many regional and rural Australians without the much-needed funds to support their growth.
“I will continue to fight to ensure this Labor Government do not make any further cuts to the infrastructure which builds and grows regional Australia,” Ms Landry said.
Families are being hit harder than ever with the cost-of-living crisis. The pain of rising interest rates, food, fuel and power costs are bringing families and small businesses to their knees.
Next week’s Budget must see fiscal restraint to ease the pressure on families, more simple and lower taxes that grow the economy, measured relief for families and small businesses that do not add to the current inflation issues and most importantly, no more broken promises.