Political jab sours joint Rocky-Yeppoon Road announcement
A COMPLAINT made today by Federal Member for Capricornia Michelle Landry about the bureaucracy of the Queensland Government was rejected by State Minister for Main Roads Mark Bailey.
During what was supposed to be a joint announcement regarding further work on Rockhampton-Yeppoon Road, Ms Landry said she was unable to organise a meeting with the Department of Main Roads because Mr Bailey had been tardy in approving one.
"We've been trying to get a meeting with the main roads since last Monday and it's been held up by the State Government," Ms Landry said.
"The State Minister has to approve a meeting, so federal representatives of the Federal Government cannot get meetings to find out where things are up to with these roads, and I think that is an absolute disgrace.
"They're playing politics with people's lives."
Ms Landry wanted the meeting in order to discuss exactly how $8 million "brought forward" by the Federal Government should be spent on Rockhampton-Yepoon Road improvements.
But Mr Bailey, who was not at Ms Landry's conference, later said that he was "very happy to talk to Michelle any time she wants to give me a ring".
He said that he spoke this morning with Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack, who made the roadwork announcement with Ms Landry, and that it was "a really positive chat".
"He didn't raise any concerns with me at all," Mr Bailey said.
Nevertheless, Ms Landry made the intended declaration: more money would be spent on having four lanes "as far as possible" and mending access roads on Rockhampton-Yeppoon Road, particularly the Cawarral turn-off.
"This is a horror stretch," Ms Landry said.
"We've seen deaths of young people on this road and it's just appalling."
Mr Bailey said the upgrades were "absolutely essential for road safety in the Rockhampton region".
The Federal Government is spending $64 million commitment on the $80 million Yeppoon Road works, to begin some time this year.
The State Government is spending the remaining $16 million.