LNP coy on future of popular works program

PLEDGE: Deputy LNP leader Deb Frecklington says the party will reinstate the Royalties for Regions program if elected on November 25.
PLEDGE: Deputy LNP leader Deb Frecklington says the party will reinstate the Royalties for Regions program if elected on November 25. Geoff Egan

THE LNP has remained tight-lipped on whether it will cut a widely supported Labor program for regional infrastructure.

Speaking outside Mundubbera yesterday, LNP deputy leader Deb Frecklington said yesterday that the Opposition would bring back the Royalties for Regions program and introduce a new Beef Roads Program to upgrade key transport links into agricultural areas.

But she would not say if an LNP Government would cut Labor's Works for Queensland program.

"We need to see the rest of this election campaign ... we've got another three weeks to go," Ms Frecklington said.

"What I can talk about though is that the LNP will reinstate the very successful Royalties for Regions program."

Continuing the Works for Queensland program was the Local Government Association of Queensland's top election wish.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announced a new roads infrastructure plan with a $1 billion a year, 15-year trust for the Bruce Highway.

"Future-proofing the Bruce is not just about making it quicker and safer to get from A to B," Ms Palaszczuk said.

"It's about boosting our economic growth and our exports - already a record $70.8 billion in the year to September - through more efficient transport of goods from our regional producers to the rest of Australia and the world."

Ms Palaszczuk said former Queensland Transport Association CEO Peter Garske would chair the trust in order to de-politicise funding the highway.

"The Bruce Highway is too important to be used as a political football. As a demonstration of our commitment, the Leader of the Opposition will be provided an opportunity to appoint the trust's deputy chair," she said.

Ms Frecklington said the plan was "half-baked" and lacked detail.

"What we've seen here today from the Premier is a program that is scant on detail and it goes over 15 years. The LNP has already announced its 10-year Bruce Highway program," she said.

The LNP's Beef Roads Program includes 10 freight roads in Mundubbera, Bowenville, Oakey, Pittsworth, Middlemount and Kilkivan.

"These 10 projects will ensure the growth of our state's livestock and agricultural industries and facilitate the movement of cattle to ports and processing facilities," Ms Frecklington said.

She said the roads had been chosen "by need" and would sit under the infrastructure portfolio rather than the transport portfolio. - NewsRegional

Topics:  deb frecklington qldelection2017 royalties for regions works for queensland

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