LEICHHARDT MP Warren Entsch has called on the Gillard Government to “be honest and upfront” about its Bruce Highway funding promises.
Responding to Infrastructure Minister Anthony Albanese’s announcement in Cairns today, Mr Entsch labelled the $4 billion in funding as nothing more than “election year rhetoric”.
“It’s more of the same for the Bruce,” he said. “This $4 billion is a fraud. We know that a massive $1.7 billion is old money, Labor has admitted that. This is the Minister coming here to re-announce that Labor isn’t serious about the Bruce. It’s a re-announcement that sells the Bruce Highway short by almost $2 billion.
“It certainly isn’t going to provide scope for betterment, which is what is needed to bring this key national highway up to standard.”
Mr Entsch pointed out that it was July last year when a contingent of Coalition MPs completed a road-trip of the Bruce Highway, meeting him in Cairns.
“At that time, we recognised that if the Newman State Government could commit an additional $1 billion in funding, it was up to the Federal Government to commit an additional $4 billion, in the traditional 1:4 ratio.
“Far North Queenslanders need the Federal Government to come to the party on what is, after all, a key section of the national highway system and a federal responsibility.”