Wednesday, 18 June 2008
Appropriation Bill (No. 1) 2008-2009
Consideration in Detail
My question draws on the question asked by the member for Wide Bay, who was the former transport minister in the Howard government, and it concerns what has often been talked about as the worst national highway in Queensland—the Ipswich Motorway. The coalition did little on the Ipswich Motorway for 11½ years. Since the election, we have heard a lot of words and rhetoric from the coalition in relation to the Ipswich Motorway, and certainly the member for Wide Bay has had a bit to say in the media in Queensland. But, really, the Ipswich Motorway upgrade could be characterised as a victim of procrastination under the previous coalition government.
Minister, I want to ask questions in relation to the stages. Each day about 80,000 vehicles drive on that motorway. It is the main arterial road from Brisbane west. It is a major national highway leading off to the Warrego Highway, the Cunningham Highway and the Brisbane Valley. The Dinmore to Goodna section is a stage that currently is not under construction. I want to know when that is likely to happen and what is going to happen in terms of funding commitments there. There is also the Darra to Rocklea section, which the member opposite mentioned. He had a bit to say about that. Minister, I know that you have travelled on that motorway a number of times, coming out to Oxley and Blair, and I know you are familiar with that particular area. Of course, we know the positions of the local councils in relation to that, and the Liberal Lord Mayor of Brisbane, Campbell Newman, strongly advocated for the full upgrade of the Ipswich Motorway from Dinmore to Rocklea. I know that the Queensland National Party and the Queensland Liberal Party have also argued for the full upgrade of the Ipswich Motorway. I know that the Howard government position at the last election was not to upgrade the Ipswich Motorway fully—they wanted a bypass crossing the Brisbane River four times and linking to the Logan Motorway, which would cost about three times as much as the full upgrade, including the section from Dinmore to Goodna.
Minister, I would like to know what is going to happen about the funding commitments. I also ask for your comments in relation to the stages. I would like to find out about the Labor government’s commitment on this issue. I know the Prime Minister had a few words to say about this issue yesterday. I made a speech last night in relation to the issue, as did the member for Wide Bay, who interjected and said that they put in hundreds of millions of dollars. If they did, it was precious little and too late.
At the moment there is major road infrastructure work taking place. As you drive along it now, you can see the Goodna to Wacol section and the Wacol to Darra section being done. Minister, I know you were in Ipswich when the Prime Minister came and there was some sod-turning. I would like you to comment in relation to the full upgrade of and funding for the Ipswich Motorway, particularly the fourth stage, which is the Darra to Rocklea section, and also the Dinmore to Goodna section—which, at the moment, is not under construction, but I understand it will happen at some stage in the future.