The Palaszczuk Government today committed $200 million towards the first stage of upgrading the Ipswich Motorway, between Rocklea and Darra, to bust congestion, improve road freight and support 470 jobs during construction.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk, Deputy Premier Jackie Trad and Minister for Main Roads, Road Safety and Ports Mark Bailey announced the funding injection, and called on the Turnbull Government to ensure this crucial project is delivered.
“This $200 million announced today is an enormous step in seeing this project move forward, and means relief is in sight for Motorway users who currently face mass congestion in peak times,” Ms Palaszczuk said.
“However, in order for this $400 million project to become a reality, we need the Turnbull Government to come to the table and meet our commitment 50:50. They should make that commitment and put their allocation back in to this project tomorrow.
“Throughout Queensland, the Federal Government usually funds major road projects on an 80:20 basis with the State Government – including projects on the Warrego, Toowoomba, the Bruce, the Gateway and Cape York.
“We know upgrading the Ipswich Motorway is crucial to ease congestion for both motorists and road freight, and so we’ve significantly increased our share of the funding to 50 per cent, from $80 million to $200 million.
“We’ve got our money on the table, ready to go – now we just need the Federal Government to step up and match our commitment.”
Deputy Premier and Minister for Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning Jackie Trad said she was disappointed the Coalition Government had removed funding previously allocated to the upgrade.
“Last year the Coalition Government retracted its funding for the Rocklea to Darra upgrade, wiping $279 million from the balance sheet for Queensland,” Ms Trad said.
“They also took the extraordinary step of downgrading the status of the Motorway by removing it from the National Land Transport Network.
“Through the Palaszczuk Government’s State Infrastructure Plan, which I will announce in the coming week, we are committed to planning, funding and delivering the projects which we know Queenslanders need right now and for our future.
“This $200 million in funding announced today signals our most recent commitment to delivering jobs and critical infrastructure for Queensland, and builds on our Government’s $10.1 billion capital program this financial year.
“Fixing congestion on the Ipswich Motorway is one of our key infrastructure priorities for South East Queensland, and we will stop at nothing to make sure the Federal Government knows this.
“Infrastructure Australia recently identified this project as a high priority, and with our funding ready to go, all we need now is for the Turnbull Government to contribute their fair share.”
Minister Bailey said the $400 million project was essential to improve the capacity of the Ipswich Motorway, by upgrading lanes between Granard and Oxley Roads from four to six.
“The Ipswich Motorway is currently a major source of frustration for more than 85,000 motorists who use this section of the motorway daily, including up to 12,000 trucks,” Mr Bailey said.
“Two additional lanes between Granard and Oxley Roads will not only significantly improve the capacity and reliability of the Motorway, but it will also ease access to the major industrial precinct of Rocklea and the Acacia Ridge Inter-model Transport Centre to the Port of Brisbane and Trade Coast.
“This project will provide improved travel time, reliability and a safer, faster journey for people travelling to and from South East Queensland’s rapidly expanding western suburbs.
“We want to get this project up and running. It’s now up to the Turnbull Government to show they are supporting Queenslanders and the Queensland economy.”