LNP pledges $33b four-lane Bruce Highway upgrade
THE dangerous stretch of bitumen between Brisbane and Cairns that is the Bruce Highway will be upgraded to four lanes and 110kmh under a LNP Government.
The estimated $33 billion promise from leader Deb Frecklington comes just days after the first sod was turned on a one billion section of the highway upgrade near Gympie.
Ms Frecklington has announced that, if elected, the LNP would prioritise “the biggest infrastructure project regional Queensland has ever seen” taking 15 years, creating 100,000 jobs.
Currently the 1677km highway is four lanes to the northern end of the Sunshine Coast near Gympie.
Funding for the highway upgrade is 80:20 federal to state under a long-standing agreement, meaning the Queensland Government will have to invest $6.6 billion, into the 1500km plus upgrade.
The Bruce Highway upgrade began in 2013 when $8.5 billion was committed for 10 years of funding between the federal and state governments.
Further joint funding commitments have extended this to deliver $12.6 billion of works over a 15-year period until 2028, but this will not include having four lanes from Gympie to Cairns.
Ms Frecklington said Queensland companies would be given preference for contracts over interstate and international construction corporations – with tenders scaled to allow local small and medium-sized businesses to bid.
“With almost 200,000 Queenslanders out of work, we need major infrastructure projects to create jobs and drag us out of recession,” Ms Frecklington said.
“Four-laning the Bruce Highway will create the jobs we need right now, but it will also benefit Queensland for generations to come.
“The upgraded Bruce Highway will have a speed limit of 110kmh and will boost the economic productivity of regional Queensland and Brisbane too.”
Ms Frecklington said the project will build for the future generations of Queenslander’s.
“The Bruce Highway is Queensland’s most important economic lifeline but long stretches of the road are slow, dangerous and prone to flooding,” she said.
“Our plan for the Bruce is bold and ambitious, but I believe Queensland must start building for the future.”
Ms Frecklington said an LNP Government would immediately invest $50m in planning for a four-lane Bruce from Curra, just north of Gympie, to Cairns.