Leisa Neaton campaign launch. Photo Allan Reinikka / The Morning Bulletin
Leisa Neaton campaign launch. Photo Allan Reinikka / The Morning Bulletin Allan Reinikka

Neaton pledges $30million highway expansion to Yeppoon

AT HER campaign launch earlier today Labor candidate for the seat of Capricornia Leisa Neaton announced a $30million investment to make Rockhampton/Yeppoon Rd a four lane highway.

Ms Neaton also announced her "port to airport" vision with the promise of upgrading the Bruce Hwy between Gladstone and Rockhampton.

"The project I'm announcing has been mentioned many times during my ongoing conversations with constituents and has been previously identified by my colleague and State Member for Keppel, Brittany Lauga," Ms Neaton said this morning in front of a crowd of supporters.

"This project will enhance safety for drivers, but also our growing bike riding fraternity, who use this road for recreation and training. It will also enhance access to our beautiful Capricorn Coast and create further opportunities for business. It is laying a platform for jobs now, and for future productivity and growth."

Ms Neaton also said she had a vision to create a port to airport economy to "strengthen our local employment market and enhance productivity".

"We have two great assets that most economies would envy, a deep water port at nearby Gladstone in the seat of Flynn, and our very own proposed International Airport," Ms Neaton said.

"At only 109 km apart we need to reduce the time to travel between the two centres and I'll be pushing a Shorten government to do that by improving the Bruce Hwy and investing in a four lane highway connecting the centres, creating greater potential to link the two both physically and economically."

"This is a localised nation building project and will require big dollars but I'm up for the fight."   Ms Neaton said this road connection would create "an economic backbone" to support inter-port transfers for produce and equipment, and again would support local business to tap into other nearby markets.

Bill Shorten's recent visit to Rockhampton adds weight to Ms Neaton's call for the highway upgrades after the Labor leader said "the Bruce Hwy constantly needed upgrading" and that creating jobs in the regions was his way of thinking.

"This biggest issue to my way on thinking in regional Queensland is jobs," Mr Shorten said during his visit in May.

"We have seen a downturn in the mining boom, you don' t have to be Rhodes scholar to work out that when you see the for lease sale signs in the high streets that small business is struggling, banks are repossessing houses, people are doing it hard. We are seriously looking at what we do for infrastructure. Blue collar jobs. My background is representing blue collar workers."   

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