Deputy PM is being ‘black leotarded’
Lycra threat real without ring road cash
IT COULD be another six years before the Mackay Ring Road enters stage two construction, according to Member for Dawson George Christensen.
Mr Christensen is playing hard-ball with Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Michael McCormack about fasttracking ring road funding off the back of a Labor announcement that it will take until 2024 to get it under way.
“It is very important (the State Government) is in line with community expectations,” Mr Christensen said.
“They’ve released (a report) last week and that report shows they were not considering doing the ring road until 2024 or beyond – that’s completely out of line with community expectations.”
With little help forthcoming from the State Government, Mr Christensen has called on the Deputy PM to take notice.
“The lycra is here, the threat is real, I have a video and unless we get money for the ring road I’m holding the Deputy Prime Minister hostage,” Mr Christensen joked.
“This is all about economics, improving freight efficiency, (that) means more money, more jobs, stage two, putting the actual ring on it leads to more jobs.”
However, the Deputy PM did not guarantee funding, nor a start date for stage two.
“The first stage is you’ve got me here. I turned up (in Mackay Wednesday), talked to the business community, talked to a number of people around the town who were passionate advocates for the community,” Mr McCormack said.
“I wouldn’t like to put a time frame on it because I don’t want to raise, unnecessarily, hopes and expectations but I’ve had a good look at this project as a desktop analysis, I’ve been here and visited now and I’ll be going back and talking to my department about how we can best manage this funding concept.
“I could be black leotarded.”
LOOKING AHEAD: Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack and Dawson MP George Christensen at North Mackay Lookout, discussing ring road stage two.