BUDGET 2018: Landry explains what's in it for CQ
AS WE sift through the details of Budget 2018, some big projects have pinged on the radar, heralding a busy time ahead for CQ.
After last year's outcry over our region being "snubbed" by the federal budget, Capricornia MP Michelle Landry was again pressured to defend the Federal Treasurer Scott Morrison's third federal budget but she's kept some cards up her sleeve this time around.
In addition to providing income tax relief, she proudly revealed a number CQ projects her government had budgeted for to kick off over the next year including $60m for the Capricorn Highway duplication between Rockhampton and Gracemere and $52m for the Rockhampton Ring Road land corridor.
Perhaps the most surprising revelation was contained in the statement on the budget from Rockhampton Region mayor Margaret Strelow saying that Ms Landry had written a letter of support for one of council's grant applications seeking federal funds for the construction of the South Rockhampton flood levee.
This is a significant given Ms Landry's reluctance to commit wholeheartedly to the flood levee project over the years, but her support is critical to the success of the application given Prime Minister Turnbull saying last year that he was counting on getting the right advice from Ms Landry before deciding on the South Rockhampton flood levee.
"We would certainly participate in supporting the construction of the levee, but it is very important that it comes with strong community support," Mr Turnbull said.
Speaking from Canberra yesterday, Ms Landry explained a number of reasons why the people of CQ should be happy with the Budget announcement.
CQ families and the poorest in society
Ms Landry said it was important to support families and she was very pleased about the newly announced tax relief her government was providing the families of CQ.
"Over the next couple of years the 37 per cent tax bracket is going to be wiped out totally and this is going to give relief for families, over $500 per year," Ms Landry said.
In addition to tax cuts, Ms Landry emphasised the importance of her government driving job creation to allow people to be employed, off welfare, confident, financially secure and able to pay tax to contribute to society.
"There's over $2b for the Bruce Highway and I'm very excited for Capricornia, there's $60m for the Capricorn Highway (for the $72m duplication project between Rockhampton and Gracemere), $120m for the Walkerston Bypass and $52m for the [Ring Road] corridor around Rockhampton and that's for future planning," Ms Landry said.
The Rockhampton Ring Road is the key piece of road infrastructure recommended to counteract Bruce Highway flooding with impacts on freight, road and rail transport in and around the city of Rockhampton.
With Ms Landry confirming that money was now budgeted for the Rockhampton Ring Road corridor, it was expected to be used to compensate landowners of properties impacted by the future state-controlled road corridor.
"I think these projects are magnificent, I think this will be fantastic for Central Queensland, this is about safety, this about jobs and this is about connecting the people in the more remote areas with the rest of the state," she said.
"[I'm] very pleased that we can offer this money and there's more money to come with roads of significance out in the western areas."
After receiving criticism about Rookwood Weir not being mentioned in the budget paperwork, Ms Landry dismissed it as scare campaign by the State Labor government before setting the record straight on the situation.
"That money is sitting in the National Infrastructure Water Fund, it's ready to go, but we cannot do anything because the State government are once again playing games," Ms Landry said.
"They won't sign off on this saying the federal government needs to put money towards the running of it, they own the project so let's get on with it."
She called on the State MPs to push the Queensland Premier to get Rookwood Weir up and running "because the people want it".
Rockhampton and Yeppoon hospitals
Ms Landry said the federal money continues to grow and the State Labor was once again telling lies on federal funding.
"I can assure people [federal funding] is growing every year, State [funding] is another matter, it has decreased and that is a concern as the State government actually operate the hospitals," she said.
"I am urging the State government to get on board, make sure they continue with their funding of our hospitals so that the people of Central Queensland can get the treatment that they deserve."
Supporting regional communities
The Government was providing $200 million for a third round of the Building Better Regions Fund, which supports regional infrastructure and community investments.
This is in addition to the Regional Growth Fund, which is investing $272 million in larger regional infrastructure projects that support long-term economic growth and create jobs in regions undergoing structural adjustment.
Backing our farmers
The Government was backing farmers by improving water infrastructure and the accuracy of GPS for regional Australians and increasing access to a broader range of agricultural and veterinary chemicals.
New funding of $102 million for biosecurity and $26.6 million to better manage costly pests and weeds will help farmers maintain access to valuable export markets.
Supporting regional tourism
The Government is investing more than $500 million to secure the future of the Reef and the 64,000 jobs and many small businesses it supports jobs in regional Australia.
This is through improving water quality, combating crown-of-thorns starfish and conducting scientific research.
CQ ROADS PROJECTS
Capricorn Highway-Rockhampton to Emerald Overtaking Lanes
Construction of six overtaking lanes on the Capricorn Highway between Rockhampton and Emerald (three eastbound and three westbound). $8m 15.2 Rockhampton
Widening a 700 metre stretch of Philip Street adjacent to a proposed community precinct site. 1.8 20.0 Gladstone
Gladstone Port Access Road Planning for the next stage of the Gladstone Port Access Road. $2m 3.8 Gladstone
Outback Way-2016 election commitment
The package will upgrade sections of the roads that form the 'Outback Way', including the Donohue Highway, Kennedy Developmental Road and the Diamantina Developmental Road. $5.8 21.2 Western Queensland
Capricorn Highway (Rockhampton-Duaringa) Rockhampton to Gracemere Duplication
Duplication (widen from two-lanes to four-lanes) of approximately five kilometres of the Highway between Rockhampton and Gracemere. $4.1m $60.0m Rockhampton
Bowen Developmental Road-Stage Development
Upgrades to unsealed sections of Bowen Developmental Road between the Gregory Developmental Road (near Belyando Crossing) and Collinsville. 3.2 23.0 Regional Queensland
Landsborough Highway (Longreach-Winton)-Pavement Widening and Strengthening (Package 1)
Upgrades to approximately 24 kilometres of the Landsborough Highway between Longreach and Winton. $5.7m 20.0 Central West Queensland
Peak Downs Highway (Clermont-Nebo) Logan Creek to Nine Mile Creek-Pavement Widening and Strengthening (Package 1)
Strengthening and widening works to approximately 13 kilometres of the Highway, providing a wider and safer two-lane highway, to better accommodate over-size and over-mass freight vehicles. 3.2 28.0 Regional Queensland
Rockhampton (Bajool-Port Alma Road) Pavement Widening Port Access Road Upgrades to approximately 14 kilometres of the Bajool-Port Alma Road, to the south east of Rockhampton. 7.0 11.6 Rockhampton
Through the Northern Australia Beef Roads Program, the Australian Government is providing a total of $56.9 million to Queensland towards:
Rockhampton Road Network-Road Train Access
Upgrades to approximately 29 kilometres of the Capricorn Highway, Bruce Highway, the Rockhampton-Yeppoon Road and the Rockhampton-Emu Park Road to provide access for Type 1 Road Trains. 10.0 20.0 Rockhampton