RACQ demands highway work be election priority
THE RACQ has called on federal politicians to commit to billions of dollars worth of vital work upgrading the Bruce Hwy and duplicating the North Coast rail line in the lead-up to the federal election.
The state's peak motoring body has joined with motoring organisations around the nation to give notice to both sides of politics on the essential projects motorists need commitments to during the election campaign.
RACQ spokesperson Renee Smith said the club stood with the Australian Automobile Association (AAA) in demanding a focus on keeping Australia moving through investment in infrastructure for the 21st Century.
"We need to put Queenslanders in the driver's seat and that's why stronger investment in transport and infrastructure needs to be prioritised this election," Ms Smith said.
"Congestion already costs the Australian economy $16.5 billion per year and by 2031 this figure is set to sky rocket to $53 billion if nothing is done."
Ms Smith said upgrading of the Bruce and Warrego highways topped the list of Queensland projects in desperate need of funding.
Duplication of the North Coast rail line was also a priority, along with upgrading of the Pacific Motorway upgrades, the city-building Cross River Rail and the Inland Queensland Road Action program.
"Not only will these vital investments in our roads reduce congestion, they are also huge jobs creators in a time when the mining industry is in decline in Queensland," Ms Smith said.
"Additionally, the RACQ remains focused on the appropriate return of the fuel excise."
A recent survey of Sunshine Coast residents found 86% believed the Bruce Hwy upgrade was taking too long.
The upgrade also topped the list when respondents were asked to name their No.1 roadworks priority.
RACQ'S QUEENSLAND INFRASTRUCTURE PRIORITIES
- Bruce Hwy: Deliver the 10-year $6.7 billion federal funding commitment to upgrading the highway.
- Warrego Hwy: Deliver the $1.8 billion in federal funding promised for the highway upgrade strategy, including the Toowoomba Range Second Crossing.
- Beerburrum to Nambour rail upgrade: Duplication of the North Coast Rail Line on an improved alignment between Beerburrum and Landsborough and other upgrades to Nambour, to take pressure off the Bruce Hwy.
- Pacific Mwy: Upgrade to eight lanes from the Gateway Mwy to Loganholme and upgrade to six lanes between Nerang and Tugun.
- Cross river rail: New rail tunnel to provide a second river crossing and add capacity in inner Brisbane.
- Inland Queensland Road Action Plan (IQ-RAP) - A 15-year program to upgrade inland regional Queensland roads.