Senator The Hon Bridget McKenzie
Shadow Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development
The Hon Michelle Landry MP
Shadow Assistant Minister for Manufacturing
Member for Capricornia
Colin Boyce MP
Member for Flynn
Senator The Hon Matthew Canavan
Senator for Queensland
Senator Bridget McKenzie, Michelle Landry MP, Colin Boyce MP, and Senator Matthew Canavan are calling on the federal Labor Government to rethink their delayed spending on the Rockhampton Ring Rd Project.
Media reports today indicate that Labor will be delaying funding to the $1.1 billion Rockhampton Ring Rd Project that was first announced in 2018.
“These reports confirm our worst fears. The Labor Party is ripping the guts out of critical infrastructure and transport projects in our regions.
“These projects deliver social and economic benefits to local communities and our nation as a whole.” Senator McKenzie said.
The project would see reduced travel times for those travelling through Rockhampton, and reduced congestion within Rockhampton itself.
Federal Member for Capricornia Michelle Landry said Labor’s delaying of federal funding for the Rockhampton is very distressing for the community and driving uncertainty for businesses.
“Anthony Albanese and the Labor Party have effectively abandoned Central Queensland by delaying funding for the Rockhampton Ring Road. Even the Federal Labor Treasurer from Queensland is harming is own home state to chase votes in Victoria before their state election.
“Our community is crying out for this critical infrastructure project. Businesses in the area now have no hope to win work in the short to medium term for the Ring Road.
“Labor members across all levels of government, including local government and state government, must demand Anthony Albanese deliver this much needed funding for the Rockhampton,” Ms Landry said.
The project was due to begin construction this year, with completion expected in 2026 and included a third river crossing across the Fitzroy river.
Federal Member for Flynn, Colin Boyce said the Rockhampton Ring Road is a key infrastructure project that will support the region’s economy by improving freight efficiency, flood resilience and the capacity of the Bruce Highway, as well as improving road safety.
“Central Queensland is the economic engine room of Australia and needs to be supported with essential infrastructure to support the growth and development of the region,” Mr Boyce said.
“It appears that the Federal Labor Government are happy to strip critical funding from regional projects and pump the money into metropolitan areas. It is simply unacceptable.
“Enough delays, the Federal Labor Government need to cough up the funding for the Rockhampton Ring Road and get on with building it as soon as possible.”
The ring road would have also provided greater access from different parts of the city, enabling reduced travel time and reducing the amount of traffic lights commuters would have to go through.
“The Federal Labor Government have today shown that it thinks regional Queensland is just a massive cash cow. It is the coal, beef and gas from Central Queensland that is propping up Labor’s budget. In fact, recent reports suggest the budget is $50 billion better off thanks to surging commodity prices.
“But Labor shows no gratitude towards our industries and then takes the wealth they generate to spend down south.
“All this delay will do is push up the cost of the project until Labor puts it in the ‘too hard’ basket” Senator Canavan said.
“As the peak regional economic development organisation in Central Queensland Capricorn Enterprise has for the past decade successfully advocated for critical road, rail and air infrastructure as one of our region’s Major Priority Projects.” Mary Carroll CEO of Capricorn Enterprise said.
“The Rockhampton Ring Road is an absolute necessity for the existing and future growth of the region and as the remaining national highway pinch point in Queensland between Brisbane and Cairns it absolutely cannot and should not be delayed.” she said