IT WAS a positive, confident mood at the Yeppen Crossing upgrade site as Treasurer Wayne Swan looked over the half-constructed new bridge yesterday.
The Treasurer's visit to Rockhampton comes a day after Opposition Leader Tony Abbott's - and the two politicians' messages were polar opposites.
While Mr Abbott crucified the Federal Government's Carbon Tax and Minerals Resource Rent Tax, Mr Swan used the $85 million Yeppen upgrade as an example of the benefits of the MRRT.
"It's sorely needed and it's been made possible because the Federal Government included a contribution of $40 million from our regional infrastructure fund," he said.
"There's some State funding as well but it's predominantly Commonwealth funding here, made possible by the revenue from the mining tax."
Mr Swan hit out at Mr Abbott's visits to Rockhampton - last year and on Tuesday - when the Opposition leader said the carbon pricing scheme would destroy the coal industry.
"Well the coal industry is going strong and getting bigger. And the investment coming into coal and also gas in this region is stupendous, it's large and it's ongoing," Mr Swan said.
As for the changes in the mining sectors, Mr Swan said there was still evidence of significant investment being pumped into this region and throughout Australia.
"As I reviewed the number of new projects being constructed in this region today, on my trip, there is a very large increase in investment coming into this region," he said.
Mr Swan made this comment after being questioned if the Federal Government was concerned it would not get the expected income from the MRRT with the recent commodity price drops, BHP Biliton announcing it would delay two projects including the Peak Downs Mine and Anglo American this week saying it would be reducing its Moranbah North mine from two longwalls to one.
"We said in our budget last year that commodity prices would come off somewhat this year and continue to come off because we reached the peak in commodity prices."