Project manager Gavin Hill at the new Yeppen Bridge. Photo Allan Reinikka / The Morning Bulletin
Project manager Gavin Hill at the new Yeppen Bridge. Photo Allan Reinikka / The Morning Bulletin Allan Reinikka

CQ roads will share pain of this year’s “tough times” budget

THE biggest infrastructure spending in the nation's history has failed to save almost half the funding for Bruce Hwy projects from being pushed back for at least five years.

Central Queensland roads will share the pain of this year's "tough times" budget, with the exception of the Yeppen flood plain which is already funded and on track to be completed by mid-2016.

But CQUniversity's Brisbane-based finance specialist Associate Professor Jason West said while some infrastructure funding had been curved, a lot had also been maintained.

He said funding for Bruce Hwy projects was still within the forward estimates, but was now more of a state problem.

Mr West said other measures which were critical for south-east Queensland were not apparent for CQ.

A promised $54 million will go towards the planning of the Rockhampton Bypass due to start in 2019.

Students at TAFE and CQUniversity will also benefit from the extension of the HELP program which allows students in rural and regional areas to apply for loans and scholarships.

Mr West said the mining and agriculture sectors would not be hit hard.

"The diesel fuel rebate has not been touched," he said.

"Mining taxes have been slashed as well."

Of the $6.7 billion promised between Brisbane and Cairns over the next decade, $3.594 billion has been earmarked for projects to be started or completed by 2019.

Funding for roads and education, along with the hope of better mobile phone coverage, was among the few pluses for regional Queensland in a budget which will see middle-class Australia paying more and pensioners receiving less.

BUDGET BULLET POINTS

  • $54 million to go towards planning of Rockhampton Bypass
  • Extension of student HELP program
  • Half the funding for Bruce Hwy projects pushed back for at least five years


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