Shadow Main Roads Minister Curtis Pitt says Main Roads Minister Scott Emerson has put the completion of the Hann Highway upgrade in doubt, when answering questions in State Parliament yesterday.
Mr Pitt said the Main Roads Minister’s failure to answer a simple question about the funding for the next stage of the $10.2 million upgrade of the Kennedy Development Road, known locally at the Hann Highway, casts doubt over its completion.
“The Department of Transport and Main Roads is facing massive funding cuts and the Minister could not guarantee the State funds specifically needed to complete the next stage in the Hann Highway upgrade,” Mr Pitt said.
“As the Minister would not answer the question in Parliament, I call on Mr Emerson to be upfront with the people of Far North Queensland and outline if the Hann Highway upgrade will be completed.
“The Etheridge and Hughenden Shire Council have recently praised the upgrade saying consumers in Melbourne, Sydney, Adelaide and Perth will receive fresh produce from Far North Queensland up to a day earlier once the next stage is complete.
“This shows how vital this road upgrade is for the economy of Far North Queensland.
“Yet, Mr Emerson showed such disregard for the Hann Highway upgrade project that he did not even mention the project’s name in his answer – that is the level of contempt he holds for the people of Far North Queensland.
“It is not just the Far North Mr Emerson holds contempt for, it seems to be all of regional Queensland, as Mr Emerson also failed to guarantee funding for the Blackall-Jericho Road and the Townsville Ring Road,” he said.
Mr Pitt said earlier this week the Newman Government’s announced they are scrapping 2,300 transport and QBuild jobs, including 600 Roadtek positions.
“The Minister needs to tell the people of Far North Queensland how many of the 600 axed Roadtek jobs will be located in FNQ,” Mr Pitt said.
“Any cuts to Roadtek staff puts future road works and road repairs in the Far North in doubt.
“Mr Emerson and the Brisbane-centric LNP Government have no idea how vital these road works and repair are to regional Queensland.
“It’s time for Mr Emerson to come out from hiding and answer these questions for the people of Far North Queensland,” he said.