MARK Bailey (far right) was in a happier frame of mind at the turning of the first sod for the $929.3 million Caloundra to Sunshine Motorway upgrade. He's pictured with then Federal Minister for Infrastructure Darren Chester, Fairfax MP, Ted O'Brien, and Fisher MP, Andrew Wallace.
MARK Bailey (far right) was in a happier frame of mind at the turning of the first sod for the $929.3 million Caloundra to Sunshine Motorway upgrade. He's pictured with then Federal Minister for Infrastructure Darren Chester, Fairfax MP, Ted O'Brien, and Fisher MP, Andrew Wallace. Warren Lynam

Money not enough to end Bruce blame game

QUEENSLAND Transport and Main Roads Minister, Mark Bailey, has savaged claims by Glass House MP Andrew Powell that Palaszczuk Government delays were impacting the roll out of funding for the Bruce Hwy.

In a pre-Federal Budget release yesterday Mr Powell, the LNP's shadow infrastructure minister claimed a Transport and Main Roads preliminary planning study for critical highway upgrades was six months overdue.

"The Turnbull Government will commit $880 million in tonight's (last night) Federal Budget to upgrade the Bruce Highway on the Sunshine Coast, including six lanes between Caloundra and Caboolture," Mr Powell said.

"After another long weekend traffic nightmare for motorists, you'd think Annastacia Palaszczuk would grab this $880 million in federal funding with both hands.

"But that funding cannot flow until Labor finishes preliminary planning work for these vital upgrades.

"TMR was supposed to complete studies for a six-lane highway upgrade from Caboolture to Steve Irwin Way, and a 60-kilometre link of the Bruce Highway between the Pine River and Caloundra Road Interchange by late 2017 - but that hasn't happened.

"Annastacia Palaszczuk needs to tell her Transport Minister Mark Bailey to get his act together and get these studies done so Sunshine Coast locals get some relief from the daily traffic nightmare on the Bruce."

Mr Bailey accused Mr Powell of sitting on his hands as a Newman Cabinet Minister for three years and delivering absolutely nothing to start planning for important projects to the Sunshine Coast.

"In fact, there has been no delay because the Palaszczuk Government initiated the planning after Mr Powell's lethargy," he said.

"We fast tracked and completed the Detailed Business Case for the $662.5 million six-laning of the Bruce Hwy between Caboolture and Steve Irwin Way and it's now in the final stages for progressing to Infrastructure Australia.  

"Detailed design is under way with construction expected to start in 2019/20 for this critical project. 

"Preliminary planning is continuing for the other two sections, Steve Irwin Way to Caloundra Rd and Pine Rivers to Caboolture and this planning is expected to be completed later in 2018."



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