Independent candidate for Rockhampton Margaret Strelow.
Independent candidate for Rockhampton Margaret Strelow. Allan Reinikka ROK231117astrelow

Strelow's $540M wish list just 10% of cross-river rail spend

SHE'S made a list, it's been checked twice.

Independent candidate for Rockhampton Margaret Strelow has promised she won't be playing nice if the seat continues to be taken for granted by the major parties.

However, there was a serious side to Ms Strelow's Christmas wish list which ticked off the region's top priorities.

Totalling $540 million Ms Strelow said the projects could all be achieved for a fraction of the money being poured into South East Queensland infrastructure.

"We can have everything on this list for just 10% of what is being spent in Brisbane on the cross-river rail,” Ms Strelow said.

"We can have Rookwood Weir, the Gracemere high school, Lawrie St upgrades, all of our levee banks, we can have upgrades at the hospital, we can have disability facilities, we can do something about ice in our community in a meaningful way.”

Infrastructure Australia assessed cross-river rail and while it was found it to be high priority, they highlighted issues with the Queensland Government's business case.

Ms Strelow said while she understood the 10.2km rail line was a future need for the city, the priorities for Rockhampton were essential "right now”.

She said it was something that would be "nice to have”, but upgrades to hospitals, new high schools, water storage and flood mitigation were needed for Rockhampton to grow.

"What we've seen in this election is piddly nothing,” Ms Strelow said.

"We've been taken for granted.

"Labor is sitting here on a 14% margin, so there's no money wasted here.

"The LNP know that this is always going to be a difficult seat for them to win and the result is that we end up in the middle, we don't get any of those campaign offers that have extra zeros on the end.”

In response to a question about whether Ms Strelow was "asking a marginal seat to get some pork barrelling”, she said it was "absolutely critical for us as a community to have our voice heard”.

"I've sat there before seeing what other communities were offered and thought 'oh, that's not nice',” she said.

"Well, it's about time for us to be not nice, it's about time for us to stamp our feet a little bit and demand we get the sorts of things that other communities get offered particularly when there's $5.4 billion available for the cross-river rail.”

MARGARET STRELOW'S CHRISTMAS WISH LIST:

  • $130m for Rookwood
  • $100m to upgrade the railway workshops.
  • $35m to redevelop Browne Park
  • $7.2m for the next stage of the North Rocky levee
  • $20m for a new art gallery
  • $60m for the Gracemere High School
  • $ 25 m Lawrie Street
  • $25m for South Rockhampton Flood Levee
  • $30m for Rockhampton Airport levee
  • $30m to develop the Supercars site