War of words over the Bruce

THE political word war continued yesterday with the Liberal National Party hitting back at Main Roads Minister Craig Wallace’s comments on the Bruce Highway.

The whole debacle started when LNP endorsed leader told the Morning Bulletin at a press conference that the LNP had a 10-year plan to fix the Bruce, but wouldn’t release the detail until after the party was elected into power, if that happened.

Then Mr Wallace hit out at the LNP, accusing the party of being secretive.

Yesterday, LNP Shadow Minister for State Development, Infrastructure, Planning and Reconstruction Jeff Seeney said Craig Wallace should stop his “non-stop buffoonery” on the Bruce Hwy.

However, in Mr Seeney’s comments, he indicates the party doesn’t actually have a plan, but would get the Main Roads government department to put one together once the LNP was elected into power.

“Jeff Seeney doesn’t know whether he’s north or south, Arthur or Martha, coming or going, on the Bruce Highway,” Mr Wallace said.

Mr Wallace said the LNP had continuously changed its position, with one media yesterday reporting Mr Seeney said the LNP’s plan would be complete within six months of taking office.

Another outlet reported Mr Seeney saying a commitment to fund planning for future upgrades would be included in the soon to be released 20-year infrastructure plan.

The LNP believes the fact that Labor has been in power for 20 years and the Bruce is in its current disgraceful state that it was time to let the LNP have power and do proper planning.

“Everyone is sick of the Minister’s negative political rants about the highway,” Mr Seeney said.

“The Bruce Highway is a disgrace, and Labor’s carbon tax will make road construction much more expensive – something Mr Wallace refuses to acknowledge and until he identifies which projects he will cut or defer, every project is in doubt.

“In contrast to Labor’s flip-flopping over fixing the road, the LNP will do what the Minister should have done a long time ago – we will task the department to prioritise projects and put together a proper 10-year plan to the get our State’s main highway up to a safe standard.

“It is a job that only the department and all its engineers can do. A proper planning process carried out by the department’s professional engineers will cost upwards of $1 million, but it is long overdue if Queensland is to get its share of federal highway funding.

“An LNP government will, within the first six months of office, create a proper plan for the upgrade of the Bruce Highway. We will deliver preliminary designs, costings, and cost-benefit analyses.

“The LNP team will do the work the people of Queensland demand and expect. Unlike Labor and Mr Wallace, we will not run around trying to hoodwink the community.

“The LNP pledges a proper program – not a Labor bodgie election special thrown together after 20 years of embarrassing inaction.

“Labor’s legacy is that the Bruce Highway is now rated as Queensland’s worst road by the State’s peak motoring body, the RACQ.

“Unlike Labor, the LNP understands the importance of the Bruce Highway to Queensland communities, businesses, mining and rural industries.”

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