The Road Ahead : February 2013
ROADAHEAD.COM.AU THE ROAD AHEAD FEB/MAR 2013 56 MOTORING | 2013 ELECTION government, opposition state their case on roads IN ITS DRIVE for safer drivers in safer cars on safer roads, RACQ prides itself on advocating a better deal for members by way of road funding. With a federal election looming in 2013, the Club asked the Government and Opposition to outline their positions on such key infrastructure as the Bruce and Warrego highways, Toowoomba bypass, Cross River Rail and Gateway North Upgrade, so that our members might be better informed when the time comes to cast their all-important vote. The responses, from Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Anthony Albanese and Leader of the Opposition Tony Abbot, are outlined below. For the RACQ's stance, turn to Club president Geoff Leddy's Viewpoint on page 8. OALITION: Roads are a ital part of a productive economy and a strong Australia. There has been too much talk and far too little action when it comes to building the road infrastructure our cities need and that every motorist deserves. We need to stop the talk and get cranes over our cities, and bulldozers on the ground. The Coalition will get vital road infrastructure projects going within 12 months of a change of government in Canberra. In Queensland, the next Coalition Government in Canberra will work with Campbell Newman and his government to ensure that you can move around your state with the kind of ease and comfort that you deserve and with the kind of infrastructure that a first world economy should have. We will provide $1 billion so that the upgrade of the Gateway Motorway between Nudgee and the Bruce Highway is under way. We will also ensure that the Toowoomba Bypass actually happens, and we will have more to say in the lead-up to the election regarding the Bruce Highway and other major roads in the state. As every motorist knows, inadequate road infrastructure and traffic congestion are having a negative impact on the productivity of Brisbane and South-East Queensland. Parents are away from their families for longer, and businesses and consumers are paying more in transportation costs. The upgrade of the Gateway Motorway will reduce congestion and improve road safety on the motorway. It will also expand the capacity of the motorway to cater for the strong population growth occurring. The Coalition recognises that the upgrade is a large project and will only become a reality with a Commonwealth contribution. We want this project moving within 12 months of an election, and we will work closely with Campbell Newman and his government to ensure it happens. We have a strong LNP Government in Queensland, and they can work with a Coalition Government in Canberra to get vital projects up and running. Labor's record on road infrastructure to date has been 'all talk, no shovel.' Reckless spending, record deficits and huge borrowings have put the Australian economy in a highly vulnerable position, leaving a shortage of funds to address the nation's pressing infrastructure problems. I strongly believe that road infrastructure is not just a transport issue. It is an economic issue, but it is a social issue too. It is also a health issue, because if we have better roads, we will have fewer accidents. We will have less road trauma and we will not have our intensive care units full of road accident victims to the extent that we do now. I would like to congratulate the RACQ on its advocacy for motorists. Better roads mean a stronger economy. They mean a happier and more cohesive society. Motorists are about the most diverse group of people anywhere, but every single one of them has an interest in better, safer roads. Leader of the Opposition, Tony Abbott IMAGE: AFTERMATH OF A ROAD CRASH ON THE BRUCE HIGHWAY.