Funding for hwy upgrade queried

THE majority of candidates standing for the seats of Bundaberg and Burnett have welcomed the LNP's $1 billion pledge to upgrade the Bruce Hwy, but several have also questioned where the money would come from.

LNP Leader Campbell Newman said he would allocate the money to fix the national highway within 10 years, on the proviso the Federal Government also contributed funding to the project.

Katter's Australian Party candidate for Burnett Kevin Pauling said he had his concerns.

"If the Federal Government doesn't come across with the funding, neither is (Mr Newman)," he said.

ALP candidate for Bundaberg Cindy Hyland said the Labor Government was already investing $114 million a year to the Bruce.

"I think it's all spin and no 'can do'," she said.

ALP candidate for Burnett Stuart Tomlinson said he also wanted to know where the money was coming from.

"It's a big commitment, especially when he says the state's broke," he said.

Independent Member for Bundaberg Rob Messenger said although he welcomed the pledge, the LNP policy was only a "band-aid solution".

Mr Messenger said he would like to see the majority of the money spent on the highway sections leading into and away from Bundaberg.

Family First candidate for Bundaberg Trevor Versace said he would try to help the Bruce by returning freight to the railway system to reduce the damage to the road network.

Katter's Australian Party candidate Doug Anderson accused the LNP of taking their party's policy.

"But we are not just going to fix the Bruce - we are going to fix highways across the state," he said.

Greens candidate for Burnett David Eastland said the Bruce needed to be a "real eastern seaboard highway".

"I don't want to see roads funded by tolls," he said.

LNP Member for Bundaberg Jack Dempsey said the policy was fully itemised in the budget, and had been audited by former Auditor-General Len Scanlan.

"It's all fully costed and planned, as are all of the LNP policies," he said.

LNP candidate for Burnett Stephen Bennett said Mr Newman had made the pledge because he had "listened to the needs and issues of regional Queensland".

"The only way it will happen is if we elect an LNP government," he said.

Topics:  australian labor party bruce hwy campbell newman greens katter's australian party lnp politics queensland election 2012

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