Labor question Landry's support of Stanage Bay Road
RISING above Labor criticism, Capricornia MP Michelle Landry defended her stance on upgrading the road to Stanage Bay, saying the project had always had her support.
"Better roads to help get Central Queenslanders home sooner and safer is my priority and I have had numerous discussions with Defence and with the Deputy Prime Minister, Michael McCormack, about delivering a permanent solution for this road,” she said.
"I recently wrote to the Deputy Prime Minister advocating for this road and I intend to continue to fight for this road, and those who rely on it, for many years to come.”
This follows Thursday's announcement, from Anthony Albanese, that Labor would invest $21.6 million for stage one, which would seal roads to the training area entry, and open Stanage Bay up to more fishermen and tourists.
"The project will also create local jobs, with an average of 35 direct jobs estimated to be supported,” Mr Albanese said.
Livingstone Shire mayor, Bill Ludwig said he lobbied both sides of government to upgrade Stanage Bay Road, which is constantly damaged by ADF operations in the area.
"Long-term it is actually more cost effective to maintain purpose built sealed roads than to continue to patch up substandard gravel roads that were never designed to take either the volume or types of heavy transport,” Cr Ludwig said.
"Another key factor in the big picture is ADF's current expansion program which will have a major impact on the regional economy through loss of prime beef production land.
"It is also the 'fair go' that Livingstone Shire ratepayers have been asking for in relation to making these roads safe and fit for purpose,” Cr Ludwig said.
When asked about Ms Landry's response, Mr Albanese described it as a "pretty lame excuse”.
Labor Candidate for Capricornia, Russell Robertson described the funding as an indicator of Labor's commitment to Central Queensland infrastructure.
Mr Albanese described this as a major announcement and Cr Ludwig was a strong advocate.
"It is an important investment. It is important for residents. It is important for visitors and will also assist the defence force.
"This will also enable and facilitate growth in tourism,” Mr Albanese said.
Cr Ludwig said it was "an absolute must for the future of Shoalwater Bay”.
He described the decision to seal the road as the cheaper alternative to constantly maintaining the damaged caused by the ADF on the unsealed road as it currently stands.
Neither Mr Albanese nor Cr Ludwig were able to confirm whether the current agreement between LSC and the ADF, which involved Defence picking up the road's maintenance bill, would remain once the upgrade was complete.
Cr Ludwig described this as a "victory for common sense.”