Jim Madden MP.
Jim Madden MP. Cordell Richardson

Labor's project pledges puts pressure on cash-strapped state

FEDERAL promises to upgrade and build road and community infrastructure in Ipswich has left the State Government with a growing list projects reliant on its support.

Member for Blair Shayne Neumann made several cash announcements for Ipswich last week.

He promised $3.5 million for an Ipswich State High School Community Sporting Precinct and $11 million to fix the Mt Crosby Rd/ Warrego Highway intersection.

On the Cunningham Highway, $170 million has been allocated to fix the Amberley interchange.

All three projects are contingent on the State Labor Government paying half.

While there is unlikely to be a problem with the state committing $3.5 million from its coffers to fund the sporting precinct, the same cannot be said for the Mt Crosby Rd and Cunningham Highway intersections.

The State Government has called for the projects to be funded on an 80:20 split, with the federal government paying the larger cost.

Mr Neumann has allocated $11 million to Mt Crosby Rd if Labor wins the next election, a 50:50 split.

The split ratio is determined by the location of the road project.

Under an agreement, the federal government will pay 80:20 if the project is in an area classed as rural and 50:50 if it is classed as urban.

The boundary of the rural to urban area is "a little bit grey at the moment," State Member for Ipswich West Jim Madden said.

"I hope the Federal Government and the State Governments come to an agreement for the appropriate funding arrangements.

"The governments really have to sort out this 50:50, 80:20 issue.

"I think that's something an incoming Labor government should treat as a priority; where the rural and urban boundaries are defined.

 

Member for Blair Shayne Neumann at the Mt Crosby Rd and Warrego Highway intersection.
Member for Blair Shayne Neumann at the Mt Crosby Rd and Warrego Highway intersection. Contributed

Labor and the Coalition are unlikely to pledge any more than half of the Mt Crosby Rd cost, so Mr Madden will push his state colleagues for answers.

"What I'll do is I'll go talk to the minister and ask does this have to be 80:20 or can it be 50:50?"

"I'd argue that's urban (a 50:50 split)."

Mr Madden said Labor's $11 million commitment opened the doors for negotiation.

"At least we have one of the federal political parties offering some money," he said.

"I'm over the moon about that."

While the governments bicker about funding splits, Mr Madden wants early work done to make the highway intersection safer.

"My approach has always been there's some preliminary work that could be done immediately with the prospect of an overall upgrade," he said.

"One of these is to lengthen the slowdown lanes on the Brisbane side."

Mr Madden was more optimistic about securing the state's $3.5 million in funding for the Ipswich sporting precinct.

"You can bet your life now we have money on the table, some skin in the game I'll be talking to the Education Minister, Grace Grace," he said.