The Road Ahead : June July 2008
Good start on roads WITH IAN GILLESPIE RACQ CHIEF EXECUTIVE T he RACQ was pleased to see that last month’s Federal Budget largely honoured Labor’s election promises to Queensland for road funding in the next 12 months. But it’s important that the Federal Government realises that we still have a long way to go to catch up after years of under-funding of Queensland’s road network by successive governments. The National Road Safety Strategy, agreed to by the federal and all state and territory governments, has highlighted the signi? cant positive impact that safer roads would have on the national road toll. Importantly, the strategy identi? ed that safer roads could save as many lives as improved driver behaviour and improved vehicle safety combined. Prior to the election late last year, the Club calculated that $23 billion would be needed to bring the federally funded national network of highways in Queensland up to an adequate standard. A critical element of this ‘catch-up’ will be how well the politically aligned federal and state governments can work together to agree on priorities for funding the planning and construction of key projects on Queensland’s national highways. A promising aspect of the budget was the emphasis on starting to plan for some important projects in the coming year, with the aim of bringing forward construction. This includes $13 million allocated for studies on upgrades for the Cairns Southern Motorway, Mackay’s heavily traf? cked southern approaches, the Douglas Arterial duplication in Townsville and the dangerous Calliope intersection on the Bruce Highway, near Gladstone. We’ll also see an earlier start to the upgrade of the Nerang South interchange on the Paci? c Motorway and construction of the Townsville Port Access Road. The real test of the new federal-state relationship will be in prioritising and implementing major projects to improve the safety and ef? ciency of such major links in the network as the Bruce Highway and Ipswich Motorway. Queensland motorists want to see early progress on such issues as the extremely high crash rate on the Cooroy-Gympie section on the Bruce Highway, low ? ood immunity on the same highway in north Queensland, chronic traf? c congestion on the Ipswich Motorway and the much needed Toowoomba bypass. There’s a lot of work to do around the state. The RACQ wants the federal and Queensland governments to prove that the ‘blame game’ on road funding is over, by demonstrating that all levels of government will cooperate for the greater good. perspective * Exchange rates include a service charge. Fees may apply on encashment. A Disclosure Document is available from www.americanexpress.com.au/travellerscheques. The information contained in this document has been prepared without taking into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. You should consider the Disclosure Document in deciding whether to acquire, or continue to hold travellers cheques. Travellers Cheques are issued by American Express Travel Related Services Company, Inc. and certain related entities. The general financial product advice contained in this document is provided by American Express International, Inc. (ABN 15 000 618 208) AFS License No. 237996. ® Registered Trademark of American Express Company. Australia Post is a selling agent for American Express. Australia Post, and its associated device mark is a trademark (registered or otherwise) of the Australian Postal Corporation. All rights reserved. G&M4337-A $0 * Commission All year round! American Express ® Travellers Cheques and foreign currency are available for order from more than 3,200 Australia Post outlets. Obtaining your travel money has never been easier! Part of every day.
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