Created jtemplate joomla templates

Latest Tweet

Join the Liberal National Party

Watch Parliament Live

I rise to speak to the budget handed down by the Treasurer on Tuesday to deliver a strong plan for a bright future for Queenslanders. In my portfolio of Transport and Main Roads we are continuing to deliver on our election promises. We are responsibly balancing increases in spending for vital roads and transport projects and front-line services while avoiding the need to raise or introduce new taxes. We are sustainably and strategically investing in the infrastructure Queensland needs as our state grows. Over the next year the Queensland government will deliver almost $770 million of improvements to the Bruce Highway. This is a record spend and is almost double what previous Labor governments had proposed. While my colleagues agree that this is a sound investment, the Labor Party has a different view. The opposition has no plan, no policies and believes any money spent on the Bruce Highway is misspending. Even when the members opposite were in government, they were satisfied to neglect this 1,700 kilometre lifeline. Unlike those opposite, we have a strong plan for a stronger Bruce Highway.

Hansard Thursday 5 June 2014

Hon. SA EMERSON (Indooroopilly—LNP) (Minister for Transport and Main Roads) (3.22 pm): I rise to speak to the budget handed down by the Treasurer on Tuesday to deliver a strong plan for a bright future for Queenslanders. In my portfolio of Transport and Main Roads we are continuing to deliver on our election promises. We are responsibly balancing increases in spending for vital roads and transport projects and front-line services while avoiding the need to raise or introduce new taxes. We are sustainably and strategically investing in the infrastructure Queensland needs as our state grows. Over the next year the Queensland government will deliver almost $770 million of improvements to the Bruce Highway. This is a record spend and is almost double what previous Labor governments had proposed. While my colleagues agree that this is a sound investment, the Labor Party has a different view. The opposition has no plan, no policies and believes any money spent on the Bruce Highway is misspending. Even when the members opposite were in government, they were satisfied to neglect this 1,700 kilometre lifeline. Unlike those opposite, we have a strong plan for a stronger Bruce Highway.

We have secured a $10 billion, 10-year deal with the Commonwealth government to fund safety, flood mitigation and capacity works right across the Bruce Highway and the Gateway Motorway. These projects provide real value to everyday Queenslanders. What do capacity works like the Mackay ring-road and the upgrade between Vantassel and Cluden in Townsville actually mean for motorists? They mean improving travel times for mothers who need to drop their kids off to school and get to work and who do not want to be stuck in traffic for 45 minutes. Safety works like the two new interchanges on the Sunshine Motorway and Caloundra Road mean getting home safely to your family. Flood mitigation works like those from Cooroy to Curra or the Yeppen flood plains south mean 2124 Appropriation (Parliament) Bill; Appropriation Bill; Revenue Legislation Amendment Bill 5 Jun 2014 keeping communities connected during flood events and ensuring families still have access to food and supplies.

As well as the record spend on the Bruce Highway, we are delivering better infrastructure and better planning through our four-year Queensland Transport and Roads Investment Program. Over the next four years we have a strong $18.1 billion program. In 2014-15 we have allocated $4.8 billion, a 37 per cent increase compared to Labor’s allocation of $3.5 billion for the same year. This program means funding is confirmed for some of our key promises, including the Gateway upgrade north, the Toowoomba second range crossing and the Warrego Highway between Toowoomba and Miles. I was pleased to note AgForce Chief Executive Charles Burke welcomed the investment in the Toowoomba second range crossing, acknowledging it as a project of critical importance to the industry. Our program is also delivering a much needed funding boost to key regional highways, including $179 million for the Warrego, $12 million for the Capricorn, $24 million for the Cunningham, $19 million for the Dawson, $15 million for the Kennedy, $41 million for the Flinders and $21 million for the Peak Downs. We are a government with a strong plan and have kept our promise to deliver better infrastructure and better planning for Queenslanders. But do not just take my word for it: the major advocate for Queensland motorists, the RACQ, has also welcomed our roads and infrastructure spend. RACQ Executive Manager Public Policy, Michael Roth, said: “It was pleasing to see the State Government maintain its commitment to road safety and infrastructure in this year’s budget.”

Daniel Gschwind, the Chief Executive Officer of the Tourism Industry Council, also said in an ABC interview that he supports the infrastructure investment in the Bruce Highway and the second range crossing.

Queenslanders are no strangers to natural disasters and every cyclone or flood event takes its toll on our road network. This budget will finalise our efforts to fast-track Queensland’s disaster recovery for roads. The $860 million funding will allow us to finish work from weather events in 2011, 2012 and 2013 which includes $130 million from Cyclone Ita earlier this year. We have a strong record in fast-tracking flood recovery works and getting regional communities back up and running. This year we will deliver almost $2 billion in disaster recovery work. We will also continue our investment in rail infrastructure. In 2014-15 we are investing $28.7 million towards construction of the third and fourth tracks between Lawnton and Petrie and $25.4 million for the new generation rolling stock project that will deliver 75 new six-car trains. Let us not forget our new trains will be delivered at a saving of more than $11 million per train compared to prices achieved by the previous government. The budget also delivers a second year of our $350 million Road Safety Action Plan that contains 60 items aimed at driving down our road toll. We strive for a bright future with no fatalities on our roads. Through the work of police and our $350 million, two-year Road Safety Action Plan, our road toll currently stands at 88, which is the lowest on record. This is 47 below the same time last year and nine less than the record road toll in 2010. While any death on our roads is a tragedy, it is pleasing to see our plan is making a difference and delivering a brighter future for Queenslanders.

When we came to office we promised to improve reliability, frequency and affordability of the public transport network. We have already taken train reliability from a three-year low to an all-time high and added more than 1,000 additional weekly train and 2,000 additional weekly bus services. We have put an end to Labor’s legacy of 15 per cent fare hikes and kept to our election promise to lower the cost of living by halving Labor’s 15 per cent fare hikes in 2013 and 2014, and I am pleased that we have found the savings to do even more by capping fares at 2.5 per cent for the next three years. Under our policies, a regular weekday two-zone passenger will be paying $1.20 less per journey, saving $750 per year compared to go card prices under Labor. A passenger from the Gold Coast or Sunshine Coast will also be better off by $4.30 per journey, saving $2,500 per year.

This promise follows on from our successful free travel after nine weekly go card journeys, benefiting 70,000 regular weekday passengers. In contrast to our efforts to improve affordability and despite the current opposition leader supporting the initiative, the member for South Brisbane wants it scrapped. This deceitful Labor Party does not have any clear policies except to put up fares by 15 per cent, driving patronage down, and getting the old gang back like Cameron Dick, Stirling Hinchliffe and Kerry Shine, who got us into such a financial mess in the first place. Unlike Labor, our strong plan for getting more people back on to public transport is working. The budget shows that public transport patronage was ahead of its target, with 176.7 million trips taken in 2013, more than one million additional trips than there were in the previous year. As part of our promise to lower the cost of living, this budget fulfils our commitment to freeze registration for the family car for our first term. 5 Jun 2014 Appropriation (Parliament) Bill; Appropriation Bill; Revenue Legislation Amendment Bill 2125

In addition to the bright future that this budget will be delivering in Transport and Main Roads, my electorate of Indooroopilly is also benefiting from this government’s strong plan. In 2014-15, $10 million has been committed to disability services funding in the Indooroopilly electorate. This funding is committed to assisting people with a disability and their families to access the support and services that they need as they move through the different stages of their lives. As I announced last year, cyclists will benefit from $5.8 million allocated in this budget to construct a $10 million cycleway bridge over Moggill Road at the Centenary Motorway interchange. This will mean a safer journey for cyclists travelling between the western suburbs and Brisbane city.

The University of Queensland at St Lucia continues to go from strength to strength. I know that many people in my electorate and other people across Queensland will benefit from the research that can be conducted as a result of the $2.5 million in funding provided to UQ to establish the Clem Jones Centre for Ageing Dementia and over half a million dollars committed to design research of solar thermal power plants.

I know that the Minister for Education is very proud of the Great Results Guarantee. It is very encouraging that schools across the Indooroopilly electorate will be benefiting from it. These schools include Fig Tree Pocket State School, Graceville State School, Indooroopilly State School and Indooroopilly State High School, Ironside State School, Milpera State School, Sherwood State School and Tennyson Special School. In a further boost to education for the western suburbs, Indooroopilly State High School will be receiving $1.5 million and Ironside State School will receive $500,000 for the construction of additional accommodation on their campuses. This budget continues our $10 million four-year election promise to roll out flashing lights at over 300 schools. St Peter’s Lutheran College, Graceville State School, Indooroopilly State School, Ironside State School, Sherwood State School and Indooroopilly State High School are already benefiting from this investment.

Our strong plan, outlined in the budget, builds on the work that this government has already been doing in my electorate. Planning work is underway to increase accessibility at the Graceville train station. The Graceville train state is one of four stations, along with stations at Dinmore, Alderley and Newmarket that are receiving about $40 million worth of accessibility upgrades. Work is now underway on the Western Freeway to widen it from two to three lanes in each direction between Indooroopilly and Toowong. About 70,000 vehicles use this road and, when Legacy Way is opened, more and more people will be using the Western Freeway. This upgrade will ensure that we have the capacity to support the growth that is occurring along this corridor.

Works are also underway to deliver new a noise barrier along Myla Terrace in my electorate. I am proud to be delivering an upgrade that will reduce the noise from the Tennyson rail corridor as part of the LNP government’s election commitment to provide better infrastructure and planning for the community. The memorial at Myla Terrace to honour local lives lost in World War II will also undergo a restoration as part of these works. This budget is a strong plan for a brighter future for my electorate of Indooroopilly and all of Queensland.