ACCORDING to Opposition roads spokesman Andrew Powell, this is the letter that was sent to Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey and has been sitting on his desk for a month.
The letter is informing Mr Bailey that the Federal Government would be funding 80% of a number of regional road projects as part of the North Australian Roads Program including the $74.99 million duplication of the Capricorn Highway between Rockhampton and Gracemere.
According to Mr Powell, in order to release the federal funds, Mr Bailey simply needs to respond to the letter. As yet, he hasn't done this.
"Yesterday Minister Bailey moved a motion in State Parliament calling on the Federal Government to push forward with the North Australian Roads Program, yet the Minister has a letter sitting in his office, offering federal funds for this exact program. Perhaps he should be keeping an eye on his correspondence?" Mr Powell said.
The Hon Mark Bailey MP
Minister for Main Roads, Road Safety and Ports
GPO Box 2644
Brisbane QLD 4001
As you are aware, the Australian Government has committed $600 million to the Northern Australia Roads Programme (Roads Programme). Applications for the Roads Programme closed mid-November 2015.
Jurisdictions were given additional time until late-February to provide the necessary information to allow for the assessment of proposals. As such, I have decided to consider the proposals in two tranches and I have considered the first tranche on the basis of alignment of submissions with the Infrastructure Australia Northern Australia Audit, the objectives of the Roads Programme as outlined in the White Paper on Developing Northern Australia, together with jurisdictional priority as per the Programme criteria.
Following assessment of the first tranche of proposals against the criteria, I am pleased to advise you that six projects in Queensland have been successful in securing Australian Government funding. Details of the successful projects are outlined in the table below.
Following your agreement, officials from my Department will work with your Department to settle the relevant funding instruments and associated documentation in accordance with the NPA, including any specific terms and conditions such as Indigenous employment and supplier use targets for each road project.
These discussions will include a review of the project scope and cost estimates, including the level of contingency and escalation applied to the project, to settle the specific amount of Australian Government funding that will be provided to the successful projects.
It should be noted that the Australian Government commitment to the Kennedy Development Road (The Lynd to Hughended) is made on the basis that the project can be completed by 2019-20, as per the Roads Programme criteria provided to you on 24 September 2015.
Once agreed, the projects will be added to the schedule to the National Partnership Agreement on Land Transport Infrastructure Projects between the Commonwealth and the States and Territories 2014-15 to 2018-19 (NPA).
Under the COAG Reform Fund Act 2008, the terms and conditions on which financial assistance is provided to States and Territories must be set out in written agreement. As per the 2016 Budget Night Letter, the terms and conditions contained within the NPA and the associated Notes on Administration will continue to apply.
I therefore seek your written agreement to delivering the six selected projects for the Northern Australia Roads Programme, and that their delivery will comply with the terms and conditions contained in the NPA.
The Australian Government looks forward to working with the Queensland Government in delivering these important infrastructure projects for northern Australia.