The Newman Government must explain if it plans to break its promise to regional communities to spend $1 billion over 10 years to fix the Bruce Highway says Shadow Treasurer, Curtis Pitt.

“Transport Minister Scott Emerson has strongly hinted that the Newman Government will divert the money it has repeatedly promised to spend on this vital highway,” Mr Pitt said.

“Instead Mr Emerson seems to be suggesting he will us those funds to build the vital Cross-River Rail project in Brisbane.

“Mr Emerson is quoted as saying that because Mr Abbott says he will pay 80 per cent towards federal road projects, the Newman Government will have more money to spend on other projects.

“This sounds very much like the Newman Government angling to renege on its promise to provide $1 billion for the Bruce Highway and if this is the case it must make its intentions clear.

“Brisbane badly needs Cross River Rail, and the upgrade of the Bruce Highway is essential too.

“But the Newman Government made a major bungle by point-blank refusing to accept $715 million in funds offered by the Labor federal government for Cross-River Rail.

“Just because it wanted to score a political point, Queensland taxpayers must now make up that $715 million shortfall and that looks like coming from a raid on Bruce Highway funds.

“We already know the new Abbott Federal Government will not give a cent towards urban rail projects like Cross-River Rail no matter how vital they are.

“Now it seems if the project goes ahead it will be at the expense of state funding to the Bruce Highway which provides such an essential link to regional Queensland.