Hey Joe... fix the goat track and give Ipswich a fair go
IT HAS been called a poor excuse for a goat track, the western car park and other names that are unprintable.
But when Federal Treasurer Joe Hockey hands down tonight's budget, all Blair MP Shayne Neumann wants is a serious commitment to get the bloody thing fixed.
Funding for the much-needed upgrade of the Darra to Rocklea stretch of the Ipswich Motorway is at the top of Mr Neumann's budget wish list.
Its poor condition is causing traffic gridlock and holding up the economic development of the Western Corridor.
"They said at the last election they would match Labor's commitment to the last section of the Ipswich Motorway from Darra to Rocklea," Mr Neumann said.
"Labor put $2.8 billion into the Dinmore to Darra stretch and it was designed, built and completed under a Labor government.
"In our last budget in May, 2013 we put in $279 million to kick-start the road construction from the roundabout at Oxley to Suscatand St, and we wanted the states to match that."
In opposition, the LNP said they would match that if they got into government.
"But 18 months later they have done nothing," Mr Neumann said.
"In the last budget they left the ($279 million) in and I want them to leave the money in this budget and kick-start that final stage.
"Nothing is happening and it is causing traffic congestion. It is the bane of people's lives.
"It is important for economic development in the western corridor and for the mining and farming sector.
"This is not just for Ipswich. It is for the whole of south-east Queensland, where one in seven Queensland people live.
"It is the number one infrastructure issue that people talk to me about locally because tens of thousands of commuters from Ipswich use it every day."
Mr Neumann also wants to see a budget of fairness "that both sets us up for our economic prosperity but also takes people with us".
"What the Abbott government did is double the deficit last time and they cut pensions and took away assistance to vulnerable people," he said.
"They changed the indexation on aged pensions and disability support pensions and that affected tens of thousands of people in this corridor. What I want them to do is to get rid of their idea that you only rely on CPI increase to pensions.
"I want them to stop their cuts on family tax benefits. A family with two kids was $6000 a year worse off under the last budget if they were earning $65,000. That is not a big wage. I want them to reverse those two decisions."
Mr Neumann also wants funding reinstated for "the Ipswich flood evacuation, resilience and recovery centres and restore funding for North Ipswich Reserve."