Budget reply: Shorten’s $6.3b for QLD infrastructure
A MASSIVE investment the Gateway Motorway, Bruce Highway and Cross River Rail headlines an ambitious $6.3 billion in road, rail, port and dam expenditure by a Shorten Labor government - and more announcements are expected to follow.
The infrastructure plan - revealed by Opposition Leader Bill Shorten in his Budget reply speech - is not limited to southeast Queensland, with projects announced from Cairns to the Gold Coast as well as a $500 million fund to upgrade 3000km of inland roads and upgrading 300 bridges.
In the biggest new commitment, $1.5 million has been set aside for upgrades to the Gateway and Bruce Highway in the southeast.
This will include widening the Gateway from four to six lanes. As the road is widened, an "intelligent transport system" will be built in to include variable speed limit signs, digital message signs and traffic monitoring cameras.
The Bruce Highway will get an upgrade at the Dohles Rock Rd intersection, matching a Coalition commitment, as well a new bridge will be built over the Pine River and four new feeder roads to take local traffic off the highway.
There are more upgrades planned for the central and northern sections of the Bruce Highway, including extending it to Cairns airport and conducting a study into dual-laning between Gladstone and Rockhampton.
Mr Shorten also recommitted to invest $2.24 billion into the $5.54 billion Cross River Rail, free up state government funds.
A range of projects announced by the Coalition have been matched, neutralising the commitments in regional areas.
These includes the Gold Coast light rail extension to Burleigh Heads, the Gladstone Port Access Road, Mackay Ring Road stage 2 and Rockhampton-Yeppoon Road duplication.
The Coalition has so far committed $4 billion into Queensland infrastructure, with the biggest difference being the lack of funds for the Cross River Rail.