Shadow Minister for Main Roads and Member for Mulgrave, Curtis Pitt, says the Newman Government is already playing politics instead of keeping its promise to spend $1 billion upgrading the Bruce Highway.

“The LNP promised to spend $1 billion on the Bruce Highway over 10 years but has instead spent the past year criticising a federal government which has contributed more to the Bruce Highway than any previous government,” Mr Pitt said.

“The federal government has now put $4.1 billion on the table over 10 years yet the Newman Government is already playing politics and making excuses for breaking another promise by claiming the federal funding is not enough.

“Transport and Main Roads Minister Scott Emerson needs to declare if he ever intends to fulfil the LNP’s promise or is the Newman Government going to continue playing politics.

“The hypocrisy of the LNP knows no bounds. They attack a federal government that has committed $5.7 billion to the Bruce Highway since 2007 when the previous Howard Government spent just $1.3 billion over 11 years in office including when National Party federal leader Warren Truss was Transport Minister.

“Since being elected the Newman Government has been making big noises about its commitment to improving the Bruce Highway. Now is its chance to do more than grandstand.

“Their Bruce Highway ‘Crisis Management Group’ was a fizzer and was exposed as useless by one of its own federal MPs Warren Entsch.

“Even in the wake of the Prime Minister’s announcement the LNP is still playing politics with sensible proposals from the federal government just as it has done with education reforms, the national disability insurance scheme, and any other proposal they see as fair game for political point-scoring,” Mr Pitt said.

He said despite promising at the 2012 state election to spend $1 billion over 10 years on the Bruce Highway, only $10 million was earmarked in the LNP’s 2012 State Budget with another $10 million pencilled in for this year’s budget.

“If the LNP is serious, we should expect to see more than $10 million for the Bruce Highway in the next State Budget papers.”

Mr Pitt said the funding package announced by the Prime Minister today built on previous federal spending on major upgrade projects along the Bruce Highway.

Mr Pitt said as Member for Mulgrave he welcomed the federal initiatives including funding for the next stage of the Cairns Southern Access Corridor that would widen the highway between Robert and Foster Roads to six lanes.