Pollies launch highway bunfight

Federal Transport Minister Anthony Albanese says the new LNP Bruce Hwy group is simply politicising the issue.
Federal Transport Minister Anthony Albanese says the new LNP Bruce Hwy group is simply politicising the issue. Chris Ison

LIKE grumpy little children, who haven't had their afternoon nap, Federal Labor MPs have come out swinging criticism at a newly formed Bruce Hwy group.

Queensland Premier Campbell Newman announced on Thursday, the membership of the Bruce Highway Crisis Management Group, which brought together state and federal representatives, motoring groups and local authorities to act 'as one' for a concerted and relentless campaign to upgrade the Bruce Hwy.

All politicians on the group are LNP members, including Federal National Party leader Warren Truss, who was Transport Minister under the Howard Government from July, 2005, to September, 2006.

Federal Infrastructure Minister Anthony Albanese and Capricornia MP Kirsten Livermore have both attacked the group's membership.

"By excluding the Federal Government and only appointing LNP politicians to his committee, Premier Newman appears more interested in politicking, rather than fixing the Bruce Highway," Mr Albanese said.

"It is disappointing to me that Mr Newman has in effect politicised the RACQ by its inclusion in this National Party committee.

"Labor is spending more than twice as much, in about half the time, on the Bruce Hwy.

"(That's) $2.8billion over seven years versus $1.2b over 12 years," Ms Livermore said.

"It is a bit of a surprise that the LNP has the gall to have a group of Howard Government MPs, who neglected the road.

"While not supporting Labor's $2.8b investment in the road."


Federal Funding

Average annual spending on the Bruce Hwy by Federal Government

Howard (LNP) Government, 1996/97 to 2007/08, $110 million

Rudd/Gillard (ALP) Government, 2008/09 to 2013/14, $453m


Current works

Southern approach to Mackay - under construction;

Yeppen flood plain study - in planning;

Calliope Crossroads - in planning;

Southern approach to Sarina - under construction;

Curra to Sarina overtaking lanes, black spots and rest areas - under construction; and

Childers to Sarina strengthening and widening - under construction.

Topics:  bruce highway crisis management group upgrade

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