Abbott promises Coalition govt will build Toowoomba bypass
COALITION leader Tony Abbott has promised to build the Toowoomba bypass if he is successful at the next federal election.
Mr Abbott said local MP Ian Macfarlane has been fighting a long time for a Toowoomba bypass.
"The Howard Government spent $43 million on preliminary work, $33 million on land acquisition, $10 million on a test tunnel.
"So the Howard Government certainly was committed to this project. $700 million was committed to this project in the 2007 Budget.
"Unfortunately, once it took office the Rudd Government cancelled that commitment.
"I'm here to say that an incoming Coalition government would spend that $700 million.
"This is a very, very important piece of infrastructure. It's important for the people of Toowoomba but it's important for the people of Queensland and for the people of Australia because the trucks using this road are not just servicing Toowoomba.
"They're servicing western Queensland, including the great mining developments in the Surat Basin.
"They're servicing Melbourne, they're servicing Adelaide, they're servicing Perth. So, this is an important piece of national infrastructure. It's economic infrastructure.
"This is the kind of infrastructure on which we will get a strong economic return and that's why even in a cash constrained environment an incoming Coalition government will be prepared to spend $700 million to get this road going."
Mr Macfarlane said it was vital that road was upgraded.
"We need it to allow the trucks free access to the western areas but we also need to get the trucks out of Toowoomba.
"The Coalition Government, in the time that I was in Government, spent $43 million preparing to build the road and then allocated $700 million as Tony said in the 2007 Budget.
"The Rudd Government took that money away and wasted it."
"An elected Coalition government will build this road and have it completed by 2017."