WHERE IS THE FUNDING FOR THE FOUR LANE TIARO BYPASS?
Federal Member for Wide Bay, Llew O’Brien has called on the Australian Government to immediately release a full funding profile for the four lane Tiaro bypass.
“In the five months since the Labor Albanese Government was elected it has been silent on the fate or the future of the four lane Tiaro bypass,” Mr O’Brien said.
“The Federal Government must provide clarity and immediately release the full funding profile detailing the Federal and State contributions for the four lane Tiaro bypass on a year-by-year basis, so we can know when major construction will start and when the four-lane bypass will finish and be open to motorists.
“There was nothing on Tiaro in last night’s Budget and I still haven’t received a reply to my letter dated 6 June 2022 to the Australian Government Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development seeking an assurance that the former Coalition Government’s funding for the four lane Tiaro bypass will be maintained.
“We need clarity that the Tiaro bypass hasn’t suffered the same fate as the Rockhampton Ring Road, which has been postponed.”
Budget Paper No.2, page 161 states:
“The Government will re-profile $6.5 billion of funding for existing projects within the Infrastructure Investment Program to beyond the forward estimates, to better align the investment with construction market conditions, while maintaining the Government’s overall funding commitment to the projects.”
“The Government must explain the meaning of this smoke and mirror Budget trick, what projects it includes, and if it affects the timing of the four lane Tiaro bypass.”
If Labor was to push funding for this vital project beyond the forward estimates, it means that major construction won’t start for at least another four years and lives would continue to be put at risk along this notorious section of the Bruce Highway.
“Our section of the national highway between Maryborough and Gympie must be brought up to the same safe standard that it already would be if it was in New South Wales or Victoria.
“Good progress has been made on the four lane Gympie bypass with the $800 million allocated by the former Liberal and Nationals Government in 2018, but unless the $268.8 million that the Coalition Government allocated to the Tiaro bypass is delivered, the termination of the Gympie bypass at Curra is where the four lane Bruce Highway will end for a decade.
“We need the four lane Tiaro bypass funded and done, and we need to fill in the gaps and four lane from Curra to Tiaro and from Tiaro to Maryborough.
“Construction costs are rising and the longer it takes for construction to start, the more building the four lane Tiaro bypass will cost taxpayers.
“It’s a false economy to kick the project out into the long grass and to do so risks motorists’ lives. I won’t give up on the fight for the four lane Tiaro bypass.”