FEDERAL Member for Leichhardt Warren Entsch has welcomed the news of $4.1 billion to fix the Bruce Highway but said he hoped it wasn’t “yet another unfunded Labor promise”.
“I really hope that this is a legitimate plan, as it is what I’ve been pushing for many years and it’s what the people who are using the Bruce Highway really need,” Mr Entsch said today.
“But I suspect that this close to the election, it will be another ‘smoke and mirrors’ announcement.”
Mr Entsch said he welcomed the plan to upgrade the Whiterock to Bentley Park section, describing it as “a good start”.
“It’s also good to see the Government returning to the traditional ratio of 1:4 state to federal contributions, rather than the 1:1 that they were proposing for a while there.
“But we really need to be talking about a viable and meaningful second access into the city, and constructing at least four lanes all the way from Edmonton to Gordonvale.
“They also need to realise that the southern approach to the Mulgrave River Bridge needs urgent attention.”
Mr Entsch said the fact that only $2.4 billion of the $4.1 billion announcement was ‘new money’ showed that yet again the Prime Minister was “robbing Peter to pay Paul”.
Mr Entsch took part in last year’s ‘road trip’ of Coalition MPs along the Bruce Highway, culminating in Cairns, which committed a Coalition Government to spending $4 billion on the Bruce Highway in line with the Newman Government’s $1 billion promise.
“It looks like they’re playing catch-up to win voters in regional Queensland but I suspect it will be too little, too late,” he ended.