Yeppen politicial bickering continues as Rocky waits on peak
AS THE familiar sight of impending flood bears down on Rockhampton, so does the all too familiar bickering over who's going to pay to fix the problems.
Queensland Transport and Main Roads Minister Scott Emerson was in Rockhampton yesterday to inspect damage and said the greater Yeppen floodplain was waiting on money from the Federal government.
"We can't get the major work done until we get the money from the Federal government and it's not $5million, it's hundreds of millions of dollars that are needed," he said.
"If we're going to have a long-term solution, we need that money."
However, Member for Capricornia Kirsten Livermore did not offer any hope that her Federal colleagues were about to foot the bill any time soon.
"Sadly Mr Emerson is continuing to waffle on about the Yeppen while our Federal Labor Government is right now delivering real improvements," she said.
"Mr Emerson obviously couldn't see the work in progress at the Yeppen Bridge ... In fact the Bruce Highway between Rockhampton and Mackay is, I believe, in much better condition than the streets I have to drive on around Rockhampton."
Ms Livermore said the Federal Government had committed $3.3billion to upgrade the Bruce Highway and Rockhampton region Mayor Margaret Strelow said it was time to get the job done.
"It's been talked about for too long … this is critical stuff; get this flood free access done," she said.
"I do appreciate the State Government have stepped up and said our money is on the table.
"We cheered when the $5million got announced, let's not underestimate that, but … that's just design work.
"There has been some really good thinking with Main Roads about how they're going to use the infrastructure they're building between Yeppen north and south.
"It will give us a flood free access to the south … and the Bruce Hwy continues to flow."
Late last year the State Government committed an additional billion dollars over 10 years for the Bruce Hwy.
The money was conditional on the Federal Government contribution.
"It is a Federal road and traditionally funding is spent 80/20," Mr Emerson said.
"We need to have it paid for.
"We can't afford it as a state and we shouldn't have to afford it … it's a Federal road.
Current work on the Yeppen roundabout is on schedule and expected to be completed in August this year.
See editorial page 16.
YEPPEN SOUTH BRUCE HIGHWAY PROJECT
Approximately 3.7km long with 90kmh to 110kmh design speed.
An additional two lanes to provide a total of four lanes.
Two new lanes built above Q100 flood heights which connect to the Q100 embankment at the southern end of the Yeppen Lagoon upgrade.
Expected to cost $450-$550million