Michelle Landry MP, Colin Boyce MP, and Senator Matthew Canavan are calling on the Federal Labor Government to deliver certainty to the Rockhampton Ring Road following statements from the Federal Labor Minister for Infrastructure that federal government contributions to infrastructure projects would be reduced from 80 per cent to 50 per cent of each committed project.
This comes just over a year after the Federal Labor Government initially cut the funding to the Rockhampton Ring Road in their first budget.
Under the original agreement the federal government was going to contribute $824 million to the ring road, with the Queensland Government contributing $206 million. With a 50 50 split this would result in the Queensland government having to provide an additional $309 million to make up the shortfall, before any of the anticipated $700 million cost blow out is funded.
Federal Member for Capricornia, Michelle Landry, said Capricornians continue to be let down by the Albanese Governments continued delays to the vital infrastructure funding the region needs.
“Capricornians are fed up with being put last. When the wealth of the nation is produced right here in Central Queensland it is only fair that investment is made back into the region.
“Yesterday, when there was an accident on one bridge and a train blocking one of the main roads in the city, Rockhampton was brought to a complete standstill.
“It was people power that brought some of the funding back for early works stages and it will be people power once again to drag the Labor party kicking and screaming to complete the project,” Ms Landry said.
$800 million was first committed by the then Prime Minister Scott Morrison in 2018 after Michelle Landry lobbied for the road to be built to improve commute times and safety within Rockhampton.
Federal Member for Flynn, Colin Boyce, said Labor’s funding cuts will mean regional infrastructure will be put on the backburner including projects like the Rockhampton Ring Road.
“Central Queensland needs essential infrastructure to support its growth and development, yet Labor’s funding cuts are ultimately a slap in the face for the region.
“This uncertainty places a question mark over much needed projects such as the Rockhampton Ring Road, Gladstone Port Access Road Extension, and the sealing of more than 450 kilometres of the Queensland Beef Corridors.
“Once again, it’s the case of the Federal Labor Government stripping critical funding from regional projects to pump the money into metropolitan areas,” Mr Boyce said.
The ring road will also provide greater access from different parts of the city, enabling reduced travel time and removing the need to travel through 19 traffic lights.
“Before the 2019 election the Prime Minister, as the then infrastructure spokesperson, said that the “Ring Road was a Certainty Under Labor”, and at the first opportunity they broke that promise to Rockhampton.
“Federal Labor is throwing more uncertainty on a project that they’ve already tried to cut, and leaving local businesses that had geared up to help build the road in the lurch once again.
“Labor needs to come out and provide certainty that the original funding will remain, and that any cost increases will be covered otherwise it’s just another broken promise to Central Queensland from a Labor Party that has forgotten that they’re meant to govern for all of Australia, not just the big cities.” Senator Canavan said.
Early works on the Ring Road were brought forward after a campaign from locals to reinstate the funding after Federal Labor’s first budget in October 2022 which delayed the project past the forward estimates.
This included a convoy to Canberra where they met with federal MPs and Senators to make the case for the region, and ensure the road was built.