Regional communities and local roads across the Toowoomba region are set to lose out, with the Albanese Labor government re-designing the Commonwealth infrastructure investment pipeline.
From a conference in Sydney, Minister for Infrastructure Catherine King confirmed she would abandon the 80-20 funding split for infrastructure projects in regional areas.
Federal Member for Groom, Garth Hamilton has slammed the decision, saying it was another example of city-centric Labor abandoning lifesaving, productivity driving infrastructure for pet projects. “
What we are seeing from Labor is they are turning their back on regional and rural communities, abandoning critical road, rail and dam upgrades for inner city projects such as the Melbourn rail loop.
“For our region this will shift the major cost of repairing, maintaining and building better roads onto local councils and ratepayers, and abandon infrastructure projects in regional areas,” Mr Hamilton said.
Mr Hamilton said local roads were important in moving people safely, freight productively and getting product from paddock to port. “In government, the Coalition recognised that good infrastructure investments could change lives and save lives, we recognised the cost pressures on local communities.
“We used the 80-20 model to bring forward regionally significant improvements such as the Toowoomba Second Range Crossing and funded regional roads through the Black Spots Program, Roads to Recovery, Heavy Vehicle Safety and Productivity Program and Local Roads and Community Infrastructure.
“In Toowoomba, Council is responsible for a road network that covers more than 6600km of roads and that is an enormous task,” Mr Hamilton said.
Mr Hamilton called on the Federal Labor government to listen to the needs on regional communities and reflect on the comments by Queensland Labor Ministers, to not abandon investment in the regions.