Waiting for our election pledges

IT’S been a year since the Labor Government pledged $150.5 million in funding to help sweeten up the voters of the marginal seat of Dawson.

How much of that funding has been delivered?

The Government has dished out $10m pledged for Mackay’s ring road planning study and $5m for the upgrade of Airlie Beach’s main street, but the remaining funding is yet to be distributed.

We’re still awaiting $120m for safety upgrades to the Peak Downs Hwy, including the treacherous Eton Range; $6m for Mackay’s basketball stadium revamp; $1m to relocate Mackay’s junior soccer grounds; and $1.5m for the Bowen water park.

The government also pledged $7m for a GP super clinic.

The government says planning for these projects must be in place before the money can be released.

Deputy Prime Minister and Treasurer Wayne Swan said the Gillard Government was determined to continue delivering for the Mackay region.

“I am pleased to report that progress is being made on all of our community infrastructure projects,” Mr Swan said.

“Not only are we delivering the major economic infrastructure, like the Peak Downs Hwy, we’ve also invested significantly into important community infrastructure like the Mackay basketball stadium.

“In terms of the community infrastructure we’re delivering, I know Candlestick Park is a project that is particularly exciting for the region,” he said.

However, LNP Member for Dawson George Christensen said the Government was too focused on clinging on to power to actually deliver on promises.

“Apart from the carbon tax, we’re still waiting for promises to be delivered here in Dawson and we’re a year into the term,” Mr Christensen said.

Candlestick Park’s building committee has been given the go-ahead to appoint a project manager for its $6m stadium upgrade, but is yet to see its $6m cheque.

Mackay Regional Football has been left frustrated by delays securing a lease on land at North Queensland Bulk Ports-owned Leprechaun Park: something that is holding up its funding.

This means thousands of children are continuing to play soccer at Barbour Park, under the direct flight path of planes descending to Mackay Airport.

Ten million dollars for a ring road planning study had been delivered as pledged, a Department of Transport and Main Roads spokeswoman said.

“Two weeks ago, offer submissions closed and the department is now processing the applications with the aim of announcing a contract and starting the study as early as next month,” she said.

“The study is scheduled for completion by the end of 2012.

“The department will start preliminary investigation into the scope of works for the $120m (Peak Downs Hwy) safety package... (and) expects to submit a project proposal to the Federal Government by mid-2012.”

Whitsunday Regional Council plans to call tenders for the upgrade of Airlie Beach’s main street in early September after receiving its $5m, which was coupled with $5m of council funding and $7m in State Government funding.

“Council has been undertaking a review of the official cost estimate, which has resulted in a review of the roundabout,” a spokeswoman said.

“It is staying in the same location and the finalisation of drainage works around the central park area.”

Federal funding for Bowen’s water park would be secured once planning, which was now under way, was complete, the spokeswoman said.


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