Government follows Opposition’s lead over Ipswich Mwy

THE Federal Government has finally come to the party and stumped up cash for the Ipswich Motorway upgrade - nearly a week after the Opposition announced it would fund the project.

The Queensland Times understands Treasurer Scott Morrison will announce $200m towards the upgrade between Darra and Rocklea in tomorrow's federal budget.

The upgrade to the 7km stretch of road, from the Centenary Hwy through to Granard Rd, will slash travel times in both direction, improve reliability and ease congestion.

The upgrade will widen the road from four lanes to six, improve several ramps and flood-proof the key part of the link between Ipswich and Brisbane.

It is the second time the Coalition has promised to fund the upgrade after committing to the project on the eve of the 2013 federal election.

The former federal Labor government funded the initial $2.8bn upgrade between Dinmore and Darra, but the final stage of the project has remained stagnant since - costing the economy $40m annually.

LNP Blair candidate Teresa Harding said the government's funding commitment was great news for the people of the region.

She said the government had recognised the economic and social importance of this upgrade despite budget pressures.

"I have campaigned non stop for this funding on behalf of the thousands of local residents who use the Motorway each day and the government has listened," she said.

"This commitment is locked in to the government's budget so the people of Blair can be assured that this upgrade will be delivered."

The motorway runs through three key marginal seats, Blair, Oxley and Moreton, and the result in those electorates on polling day could go along way in determining the overall election winner.

A Queensland Times survey published last week revealed 52% of respondents believed the Darra to Rocklea upgrade was the most pressing local infrastructure project.

The Palaszczuk Government said earlier this year it would allocate $200m towards the project - moving away from the historical 80:20 split to a 50:50 split in order to get the project over the line.



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