Queensland’s pork-barrelling bonanza from Federal Election
The Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland (CCIQ) is confident that the forthcoming Federal Election will prove to be a pork-barrelling bonanza for the Sunshine State.
CCIQ Director of Advocacy Nick Behrens said there is no question that Queensland will be the key battleground for the forthcoming Federal Election on July 2.
“In short, the Australian Labor Party (ALP) needs 21 seats to win office and the Coalition cannot afford to lose more than 14 seats,” he said.
“With an Australian-wide two-party preferred (TPP) swing of 4.3 per cent required for the ALP to win, there are 10 electorates in the Sunshine State in play and potentially up for grabs.
“The forthcoming Federal Election will represent a massive opportunity for Queensland to secure vitally needed infrastructure funding.
“An investment in infrastructure represents an investment in the future prosperity of Queensland.”
Mr Behrens said at the last Federal Election in 2013, Queensland secured $8.4 billion dollars in Commonwealth funds for roads alone.
Key projects that were committed to include the Toowoomba Second Range Crossing ($700 million), Bruce Highway Upgrade ($6.7 billion) and the Gateway Motorway North (($1 billion).
“Queensland is also now seeing the roll-out of the National Broadband Network proving to be of massive benefit to our decentralised state, providing vitally needed connectivity to the world.
“We only have to look to these projects to see that essential major infrastructure projects can reach building stage as a result of a Federal Election campaign.
“Historically, Queenslanders look at political or election pork-barrelling in a negative light – but CCIQ sees this differently.
“Quite simply, the Federal Election will be one of few opportunities for Queensland to secure the Commonwealth commitment required to fund our vitally needed projects.”
Mr Behrens said there were eight key projects that were supported by the State Government and were also on the Australian Infrastructure Priority List.
“More importantly, these projects fall within an electorate that is considered to be marginal and up for grabs at the forthcoming Federal Election,” he said.
“Using this criteria, we can be almost 100 per cent confident that we are going to see serious election announcements from all political parties featured around these infrastructure projects.
“These are the projects to look out for and we have already seen Opposition Leader Bill Shorten in Queensland this week making commitments to the M1 Pacific Motorway ($168 million) and the Ipswich Motorway ($200 million).
“The only distinction between this and previous elections is that we are seeing these announcements occur earlier on in the piece.
“No doubt the Federal Budget on Tuesday night will tick a number of the project boxes as well.
“Provided the infrastructure announcements relate to projects of a high economic contribution, such as the Australian Infrastructure Priority List, CCIQ welcomes the forthcoming political funding commitments.”