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Australia : Queenslands great big roads rip-off.

Minister for Main Roads Mark Bailey has slammed the Turnbull Government for siphoning promised roads funding for Queensland and spending it interstate.

Following the Federal Governments Northern Australia Roads Programme (NARP) announcement this week, Mr Bailey said the figures for Queensland dont add up and that the Prime Minister has some very serious questions to answer over it.

The Turnbull Government in its 2016-17 budget allocated just over $375 million in NARP funding for Queensland and based on this we put forward 26 projects, Mr Bailey said.

Six projects for Queensland were announced in the first round of funding and just four in the second round this week which means the total funding for Queensland under NARP is $223.8 million.

Federal Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Darren Chester confirmed in a letter to me that the assessment process for NARP has now been finalised.

This leaves Queenslands share of funding $151.3 million short or 40 per cent less than promised and vital projects unfunded.

Theres also a further $5.6 million dollars missing from our Beef Roads allocation, so in total this week weve been short changed $156.8 million.

The Palaszczuk Government did our bit, weve had our 20 per cent on the table ready to go for the entire list of projects since the June Budget.

Mr Bailey said its clear where the Federal Governments priorities lie, and its not Queensland.

Weve been short changed on the M1 Pacific Motorway and now were being short changed on road projects in North Queensland, Mr Bailey said.

The Prime Minister and his posse have the hide to show their faces in Queensland this week, grandstanding that these upgrades would greatly benefit northern Queensland.

What about the projects and regions that missed out because theyve decided to shift the goal posts again.

Queensland Senator and so-called champion of the north Matt Canavan needs to explain to Queenslanders why the allocated funding for regional projects and jobs in Queensland is being spent elsewhere.

Its clear after Mr Turnbulls comments earlier this month, hes taking Queenslands fair share to placate other states.

We are spending a very substantial share of our national land transport infrastructure investment in Queensland, other states complain were spending too much in Queensland to be quite frank. Malcolm Turnbull, ABC 612 (5 October, 2016)

Minister Bailey said Queensland is a vast decentralised state with some 186,000 kilometres of public roads including 33,343 km of state-controlled roads, which is more than any other state or territory.

Of course more funding should be spent on Queenslands roads infrastructure than other States, Mr Bailey said.

Our roads network is a vital link across Queensland and serves a diverse economy from mining, agriculture, tourism and service industries.

Were also subject to extreme climate conditions more than others that impact our roads network like cyclones and flooding.

Its extremely disappointing that the Turnbull Government wont honour their budget commitment.

We need these projects to happen, to get shovels in the ground and to support regional jobs, our local communities and local industries deserve nothing less.

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Publication:Mena Report
Date:Oct 28, 2016
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