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November 20, 2017

Tim Nicholls’ key Gold Coast election commitment remains in doubt, with the Federal Government still failing to commit the funding needed to deliver it.

Five days have now passed since I asked the Federal Minister in charge of answering Transport questions, Senator Nigel Scullion, about Mr Nicholls’ claims that the Federal Government had agreed to fund half of his proposed second M1.

Five days on and not a single word from the Government about whether there really is a deal, or whether this is something Mr Nicholls has made up, to save his lazy local MPs.

On Wednesday, I asked Senator Scullion:

  1. How much is allocated in the federal government's forward estimates for the proposal of Queensland opposition leader, Mr Tim Nicholls, to build a second motorway at the Gold Coast in Queensland?
  2. What analysis has the federal government undertaken into the cost of building a second motorway at the Gold Coast?
  3. Given the minister will not confirm the total cost of the Queensland opposition's proposal and will not confirm that the federal government will contribute $250 million to the project, as announced by Mr Nicholls, has the state Leader of the Opposition misled the voters of Queensland or is this just another example of the Queensland LNP being, to quote Senator Brandis, 'very, very mediocre'?

These questions were met with blank looks and were taken on notice.

How can we trust the LNP to deliver on their promise if the Minister representing Transport in the Senate hadn’t even heard of their policy?

With the State election looking very close, the Gold Coast is likely to determine who forms government after Saturday.

Conveniently, after 6 years of silence on the M1, the LNP have emerged with a policy during the election campaign. Perhaps they should have told their Federal counterparts about the policy first before saying they were on board.

The LNP committed no funding to the M1 the three years they were in Government. In fact, the only major infrastructure project in Queensland they did commit funding to was their ‘Tower of Power’ they built for themselves in the Brisbane CBD.

Unlike the LNP, Labor has delivered on the M1. Over the past three years, the Palaszczuk Government has provided over $420 million for crucial upgrades and has committed another $200 million during this election.

Labor is also extending the light rail and building three new Gold Coast train stations, to boost public transport and ease congestion on our roads.

On Friday, I wrote to Senator Scullion asking him to clarify the Federal Government’s position. [letter attached] It is unacceptable for the LNP to go into the election promising something that they cannot deliver.

Time is running out for the Federal Government to tell us whether they have committed to helping fund a second M1. Do they even know about the project?

It’s looking more and more like this “commitment” is just more make believe from Tim Nicholls and the LNP.