Michelle Landry MP, Colin Boyce MP and Senator Matthew Canavan have slammed Labor for pushing back the long called for improvements to the Queensland Beef Corridors project right before Beef Week in Rockhampton this year after it was initially announced by the LNP Government in 2022.
This week in senate estimates it was revealed that the $400 million upgrade that would see 457km of Central Queensland roads sealed has been pushed back from a start date of 2025/26 financial year back until 2027/28 financial year.
Federal Member for Capricornia, Michelle Landry, said Labor are playing with the lives of people who travel on these regional roads by delaying funding until 2027.
“Shovels were ready to hit the dirt next year to provide the much-needed upgrades to the roads which transport the cattle which sinks $1.7 billion into our economy. The Beef Corridor Roads are an integral part of continuing to deliver the high-value commodities which keeps the lights on for Australia. Despite this, beef producers, truck drivers and the communities located along the 457 kilometres of the Beef Corridor are put on the back burner.
“For Labor, these roads are out of sight, out of mind and once again proves that this government does not have the best interests for those in Central Queensland at heart. The more roadblocks that are put for this funding, the more lives are put at risk,” Ms Landry said.
When questioned in Senate Estimates a representative from the Department of Infrastructure was unable to even name any of the roads that are part of the project despite the project being based upon the planning and mapping done by 7 Central Queensland Councils that is publicly available.
Federal Member for Flynn, Colin Boyce said Labor’s decision to delay the funding for the Queensland Beef Corridors was a slap in the face for regional Queensland.
“This delay places a question mark over the sealing of more than 450 kilometres of the Queensland Beef Corridors, a project that has the support of seven mayors from seven Queensland local government areas,” Mr Boyce said.
“The Beef Corridors are critical to the economic development, accessibility and safety of many regional communities in the Flynn electorate.
“Once again, it’s the case of the Labor Government stripping critical funding from regional projects to pump the money into metropolitan areas.
“We urge the Labor Government to get on and build the Beef Corridors as soon as possible to address the critical infrastructure needs of our regional communities. The sealing of the Beef Corridors will not only improve industries ability to get products from paddock to plate but will also improve the overall quality of life for residents.”
The roads had been identified as some of the most important roads that would make the biggest impact to supply chains across Central Queensland.
Senator Canavan said that Labor pushing out past the forward estimates is a kick in the guts for our Central Queensland producers.
“These roads are critical to ensuring that not only can we get the produce in Central Queensland to market, but ensuring that families driving on these roads every day are safer.
“If Labor bothered to even look at the roads that are being upgraded under this funding they’d known how dangerous it is driving on these, and troubles that truck drivers that drive these roads regularly have.” Senator Canavan said.
The roads that will be sealed under the funding are Clermont – Alpha Rd, May Downs Road, Kilcummin – Diamond Downs Road, Alpha – Tambo Rd, Dawson Developmental Rd, Fitzroy Developmental Rd (Bauhinia – Duaringa), Fitzroy Developmental Rd (Taroom – Bauhinia), Duaringa – Apis Creek Rd, Glenroy Road Corridor (incl. Crossing)