Minister for Main Roads Mark Bailey has avoided the biggest traffic bottleneck on the Sunshine Coast on his visit today.
Member for Maroochydore Fiona Simpson called on him afresh to tell Coast residents why he has scrapped plans for a $440 million upgrade of the dangerously congested Mooloolah River Interchange on the Sunshine Motorway and Nicklin Way.
The Minister was visiting the smaller road projects on Kawana Way intersections to increase roundabout capacity ahead of the opening of the new Sunshine Coast Public University Hospital.
Shadow Minister for Local Government and Main Roads, Fiona Simpson asked what the Minister has done to bury the design and planning work for the LNP’s $440 million upgrade of the major link roads to the new hospital which was announced at the end of 2014.
Ms Simpson said she was disappointed that the Minister missed the opportunity to witness first-hand the problems experienced during peak traffic congestion times at these major intersection leading to the new hospital.
“The LNP had a $440 million plan for the road upgrade designed by the Main Roads Department and the new Labor Government has recklessly dumped it,” Ms Simpson said.
“Labor has frozen the state's infrastructure budget by cutting a billion dollars a year from capital works – and now after 12 months of dithering – they've cut the Sunshine Coast hospital road upgrades from $440m down to $22m. That's a disgrace.” she said.
“The LNP released the redesigned Mooloolah River Interchange project in 2014 and committed to
funding it after years of it not being in Labor's infrastructure plans. However, Minister Bailey has thrown away the work done by the Department of Main Roads.
“The LNP’s plan would have created 2,500 construction jobs and unlocked this bottleneck in one of the fastest growing regions in Queensland,” Ms Simpson said.
“Instead Minister Bailey is fast becoming Labor’s ‘Minister for Traffic Congestion’.
“Labor has no plan to tackle congestion and the issues on Kawana Way are just a preview of what Sunshine Coast motorists can expect when the Sunshine Coast University Hospital eventually opens.
“Can this Main Roads Minister guarantee that no ambulance or patient going to the hospital will be caught in traffic under his plan?”