Rudd defends Labor's record of spending on Bruce Hwy
PRIME Minister Kevin Rudd has hit out at Opposition leader Tony Abbott's announcement that his government would spend $6.7 billion on upgrading the Bruce Hwy.
"In less than half the time the previous Coalition Government had to invest in the Bruce Hwy, we've spent four times as much," Mr Rudd said during a visit to Gladstone this morning.
"It's easy for someone like Mr Abbott to say trust me, I'm going to spend X amount on the Bruce Hwy.
"They had 12 years to act on the Bruce Hwy and did practically zip."
Mr Rudd said further Bruce Hwy announcements would be "subject of course to budget restraint".
The Prime Minister kicked off his morning in Gladstone with a walk around Spinnaker Park, and has told The Gladstone Observer that he welcomed development in what he called "a great industrial city".
The Prime Minister spent the night in Gladstone after attending Community Cabinet in Rockhampton last night.
The morning he visited The Observer office and discussed the Federal Government's record in the region.
Mr Rudd also warned that the tight federal budget would impact on demands for new spending.
He highlighted $190 million spending for the electorate of Flynn over the past two years, predominantly spent on the Building the Education Revolution.
Mr Rudd also hit out at the State Government, and a challenge from Queensland Health Minister Lawrence Springborg to "reinstate $103 million in federal health funding ripped from Queensland hospitals by his fellow Queensland Labor MP Wayne Swan."
"It's time for the Queensland Liberal National Government to own responsibility for their slash and burn of the health system, with 1400 people sacked statewide," Mr Rudd said.
The Prime Minister is visiting Gladstone Regional Council this morning, as well as a local not-for-profit organisation.
He'll then travel to Mackay before attending the State of Origin in Sydney tonight.
Watch our video interviews with the Prime Minister for more on issues impacting Queenslanders.
Quotes from Kevin Rudd: What our Prime Minister had to say while in Gladstone
- On job cuts in Queensland: "For Mr Abbott to stand there this morning with Premier Newman, who has been in the slash and burn business right across Queensland, ripping jobs out and ripping services out, to me says one pretty basic thing to folk in Gladstone and fold right around Queensland. I think what they're seeing is with Mr Newman, the Premier, he's the entrée when it comes to slash and burn. With Mr Abbott you're likely to get the main course."
- On the Bruce Highway: "What we've committed to, we've honoured and you'll see up and down the Bruce from Cairns down to Brisbane road works are everywhere."