The Royal Automobile Club of Queensland (RACQ) has expressed its concern on the federal government's decision to reduce its funding split with the Queensland Government to 50/50 for new regional infrastructure projects.
In a release, RACQ raised concern on the reduction's impact on the Bruce Highway, which it deemed the backbone of Queensland.
“At a time when we're seeing incredible population growth, more interstate road-based tourism, and preparing for the Olympic and Paralympic Games, Queensland needs more investment, not less,” said RACQ general manager advocacy Joshua Cooney. “We're still examining the detail, but to us right now, this decision smacks of the Federal Government passing the buck to the state government and disadvantaging regional Queenslanders.
“Our members and motorists across the board feel the inadequacies of the Bruce Highway every single day. The highway is the backbone of our state; it's a critical piece of infrastructure that not only requires urgent upgrades already in the pipeline but also ongoing upgrades and maintenance well into the future.”
According to RACQ, the Queensland population is expected to jump to around 7.3 million by 2046, putting even greater pressure on the Bruce Highway.
“We cannot afford to take the foot off the funding pedal for this road during this critical growth period,” Cooney said. “Recently released AusRAP data confirms what our members have been telling us for years: the Bruce Highway is dangerous and needs fixing immediately.”
Cooney explained that the federal government's decision could force the Queensland government to pick and choose between future upgrades, impacting communities, the economy, road safety, and natural disaster resilience.
“The federal government says it inherited an impossible infrastructure program, and we understand the need for hard decisions, but that shouldn't come at the expense of one of the fastest-growing states. Queensland is the last place in Australia where funding should be cut,” he said.
In other news, RACQ issued a road safety warning during Schoolies week and urged parents to help their children plan for their trip to ensure they arrive at their destination safely.