Newspaper article The Queensland Times (Ipswich, Australia)

Funding Fiasco Stalls Work; Darra to Rocklea Upgrade of Ipswich Motorway Bogged Down in Quagmire of Bureaucratic Red Tape

Newspaper article The Queensland Times (Ipswich, Australia)

Funding Fiasco Stalls Work; Darra to Rocklea Upgrade of Ipswich Motorway Bogged Down in Quagmire of Bureaucratic Red Tape

Article excerpt

Byline: Joel Gould joel.gould@qt.com.au

IT has been described as a glorified goat track and an embarrassment.

But the Darra to Rocklea section of the Ipswich Motorway is no closer to being completed with a continued standoff between the Federal and State Governments over funding.

An Infrastructure Australia case study of 2012 said commuters on the Rocklea to Darra section of the motorway were experiencing "significant travel time delays of between 20 and 25 minutes in the AM and PM peaks and poor travel reliability.

The study also referred to the inability of the motorway to handle the freight network and that this was leading to "an overall constrained economic growth potential for Australia's economy".

The initial stage of the $2 billion project will cost $558 million.

This includes a motorway upgrade to three lanes between Oxley Rd and Suscatand St, a northern service road across Oxley St and ramp rationalisation.

A spokesman for Minister for Infrastructure Warren Truss said "the Australian Government has committed $279 million towards the upgrade of the Rocklea to Darra section of the Ipswich Motorway, subject to the Queensland Government providing matching funding".

But the State Government insists the Federal Government contribution should be $462 million.

A spokesperson for Minister for Transport and Main Roads Scott Emerson said "given the Ipswich Motorway is a national road, we are in discussions with the Federal Government to secure the historical funding split of 80/20".

The former Labor government funded the $2.8 billion upgrade of the Dinmore to Darra section of the Ipswich Motorway

Cr Paul Tully, whose electorate is within minutes of the unfinished section of the motorway, said the Darra to Rocklea section of the motorway was "an embarrassment" and that both State and Federal Governments should settle their differences.

"We have an excellent motorway upgrade from Wacol to Dinmore, and then nothing but a glorified goat track from Darra through to Rocklea," Cr Tully said.

"It is a substandard road that is taking almost 100,000 vehicles a day.

"The State and Federal Government should settle their differences because it is the residents and businesses of south-east Queensland who are suffering from the existing road network. …

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