Residents let down: Carter
GRACEMERE commuters will feel let down that Labor has failed to deliver on a key election promise to upgrade the Yeppen crossing, Mayor Brad Carter said yesterday.
Cr Carter said he was confused and frustrated by the Federal Government's budget documents which suggested that the promised $40 million upgrade to ease congestion at the infamous roundabout would not happen until 2014/15 – and then only if the government succeeds in imposing its proposed mining tax.
“My understanding is that there is little chance of any significant construction activity any time soon,” he said. “During the election campaign, both sides of politics pledged to sort out the intersection of the Bruce and Capricorn highways.
“The expectation was there would be a commitment to include the work in the first budget of the new parliament.
“The people of Gracemere have been severely let down and the lack of action on this issue and on flood-proofing the Bruce Highway is starting to have serious negative consequences.”
He said he had an indication from a potential business investor yesterday that because there was no serious commitment in the budget to address the region's infrastructure problems, that the company would not now proceed with its project in Rockhampton.
Federal Infrastructure and Transport Minister Anthony Albanese confirmed yesterday that funding for the Yeppen crossing had been set down for 2014/15. He said he was confident the mining tax would be passed in parliament and if the project could be brought forward he would do it.
Cr Carter said he had made it clear he was available to meet with Mr Albanese yesterday to discuss the Yeppen crossing, but his request for a meeting had been ignored.”