URGENT: 'That part of the road is a dog's breakfast'
MEMBER for Ipswich West Jim Madden has again called on his government to accept a proposal to fund upgrades to the Cunningham Highway after renewed calls for the project to get off the ground ahead of the State Budget next month.
The Federal Government committed $170 million in last year's Federal Budget to upgrade the highway between Yamanto and Ebenezer Creek, including much-maligned intersections at Yamanto and Amberley.
Labor promised to match that figure if they were elected but the State Government said they would only cough up if it was an 80-20 split, and not 50-50, due to it being in a rural area.
Member for Scenic Rim Jon Krause said with the next Queensland Budget to be tabled in under two weeks, it was about time for the long-awaited funding to be committed.
"That funding, as far as I'm aware, will still be in the Federal Budget under the Coalition," he said.
"I think the State Government needs to take the budget that's coming up... to take the opportunity to put money to the highway to improve the Cunningham.
"People are calling for it. Ebenezer, Yamanto and Willowbank, that part of the road is a dog's breakfast every day during peak hours trying to get to work at the RAAF base and turning across the Amberley interchange.
"Even Jim has publicly said he wants his own government to cough up for the Cunningham Highway to fund the upgrades and they refuse to listen to him.
"The people impacted most by the Cunningham not being fixed are people in the Ipswich West electorate going to work at the RAAF base or coming out of Walloon or Rosewood."
He disputed it was not a rural section of road and should be funded equally by the state and federal governments.
It is an issue that impacts residents in both electorates, not including the many outside motorists who use the section every day.
Mr Madden said the work needed to improve the highway was "urgent" and the money was available for it to happen with drivers sick of waiting for something to happen.
"I maintain the position we should accept the 50-50 funding," he said.
"This is the only offer on the table.
"Unfortunately the State Government has maintained it has to be 80-20 funding. They have rejected the proposal.
"It's hard to talk about what I think will be in the budget. I won't know (what is in it) until the budget is tabled."