$400m pledge to make Kuttabul to Sarina four lanes
A PROPOSAL to widen the Bruce Highway from Sarina to Kuttabul to four lanes has received a $400 million pledge from Whitsunday MP Jason Costigan.
The announcement, which expands his NQ First party's Bruce Hwy funding commitment to $1.5 billion, comes as Opposition Leader Deb Frecklington visited a Proserpine prawn farm this morning to spruik her party's $33 billion plan to duplicate the highway from north of Gympie at Curra to Cairns.
But Mr Costigan said the LNP's plan would make North Queensland the "last cab off the rank."
"It's been a kneejerk policy," Mr Costigan said.
"Someone said 'you know what, we're struggling in the polls in North Queensland, Debbie, you better do something'."
Mr Costigan said his party would prioritise duplicating the highway from Sarina to Cairns by 2030.
He added the southeast centric LNP and Labor parties were using the newly opened Ring Road to appease Mackay voters.
"The government's got to stop saying 'here, we'll hang the hat on the Ring Road and shut the people up of Mackay'," Mr Costigan said.
He said NQ First's "flagship" Royalties to Regions program would generate $2 billion from "over the hill" to be redirected towards fixing the Bruce Hwy in central, north and far north Queensland.
"There's more royalties coming with the expansion and opening up of the Galilee Basin.
"The last thing we want to see is that becoming a cash cow for southeast Queensland like the Bowen Basin."
NQ First Mirani candidate Jason Borg said the region deserved a "fair crack" at some of the mining royalties.
"We've had some bad accidents," Mr Borg said.
"Something needs to be done, we don't want to bandaid it."
Breakdown of NQ First's $1.5 billion Bruce Highway pledge:
- $400m to duplicate the highway between Bakers Creek and Sarina and Erakala and Kuttabul
- $200m for floodproofing and duplicating the highway between the O'Connell River and Proserpine
- $200m for a new bridge across the Fitzroy River
- $200m towards a new bridge across the Burdekin River