Progress continues on Stage One of the Mackay ring road on the Peak Downs Highway, while state funding for Stage Two is yet to be confirmed.
Progress continues on Stage One of the Mackay ring road on the Peak Downs Highway, while state funding for Stage Two is yet to be confirmed. Emma Murray

Ring road still going in circles with funding gap

FROM the fields and mines to the ports, without a single traffic light.

That's the plan for Stage Two of the Mackay Ring Road, which would upgrade 8.2km of road from the Bruce Highway to the Mackay Port.

Three months after the Federal Government committed to $280 million for the Stage Two development, Queensland State Opposition leader Deb Frecklington has accused the Palaszczuk Government of "stalling” the infrastructure project.

Ms Frecklington said the state had refused to provide any of the $70 million needed to start work on the road.

Both the Federal Government and its Labor opposition have committed to contribute $280 million to the project but they still require a 20 per cent funding commitment from the state.

Ms Frecklington condemned Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk for not providing the money, saying "she hates spending money on coal communities like Mackay”.

But Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey said his government supported the stage two project and was still looking to "work with the relevant Federal Government to ensure we get a fair funding deal for it”.

Mr Bailey said the State LNP had vastly underestimated the costs of the stage two project, saying earlier project estimates had reached $400 million - $50 million greater than the LNP's estimates. He accused Mr Frecklington of "inventing a figure to make a headline”.