State Budget's transport winners and losers: RACQ

RACQ has welcomed the State Government’s $27.5 billion investment in roads and transport infrastructure over the next four years, announced in today’s Budget.
Traffic on the M1
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RACQ Head of Public Policy Susan Furze said the funding was vital to help improve road safety and boost the economy as Queensland continued its recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Tragically, we’ve already lost 119 lives on our roads this year, so we’re pleased to see an extra $500 million being spent on regional safety initiatives, taking the total investment to $1.69 billion over four years, which means accelerated delivery of life saving road upgrades,” Ms Furze said.

“With congestion a major issue, particularly in the south east, it’s reassuring to see money to address traffic woes on the Pacific Motorway, Gateway Motorway, Bruce Highway and money for the Coomera Connector.

“We’re also pleased improvements to our public transport network are being prioritised, including investment in Gold Coast Light Rail Stage 3 and planning for public transport upgrades at Springfield, Ipswich, Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast, and Toowoomba, as well as new funding for the Gold Coast Rail Line from Kuraby to Beenleigh.”

Ms Furze said regionally, $543.9 million was included to reduce congestion and improve safety and flood immunity on the Warrego Highway between Toowoomba and Ipswich.

“There’s also money to continue the Bruce Highway Cooroy to Curra upgrade, Cairns Ring Road, Cairns Western Arterial Road, Gore and New England Highways, Townsville Ring Road, Rockhampton Ring Road, the Inland Freight Corridor, Stage 1 of the Mooloolah River Interchange upgrade and Mackay Port Access works,” she said. 

“However, it’s disappointing a funding gap still exists for the full Beerburrum to Nambour Rail duplication, while money for the Centenary Highway Bridge has also been pushed back and there’s no new cash for upgrades to the Centenary Motorway from Darra to Toowong and Ipswich Motorway from Darra to Rocklea.”

Ms Furze said there was also a missed opportunity to help ease the financial burden on Queenslanders by not freezing vehicle registration or abolishing stamp duty on new cars. 

“Transport taxes and charges are the third highest cost for Queensland households, and we are disappointed there was no reprieve in this Budget, with rego and driver license costs going up by 1.7 percent on 1 July.”

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