It's time to finish the motorway, Mr Treasurer
TRAFFIC gridlock on the Ipswich Mwy continues so Mayor Paul Pisasale and local state MPs are calling on the Federal Government to cough up the money in tomorrow night's budget and finish it.
An Infrastructure Australia business case study on the motorway, which cost $10 million to fund, states that the Rocklea to Darra section "currently experiences significant travel time delays of 20 to 25 minutes in the AM and PM peaks and poor traffic reliability particularly during peak periods".
Commuters are spending an extra four hours a week in traffic as a result of the delays.
The case study states that the cost to finish the motorway is just over $2.6 billion.
Cr Pisasale said commuters "drive along the motorway and get to Darra and it becomes a car park".
"Why would you do a motorway and half-finish it? It is time to finish the job," he said.
"Imagine the Prime Minister getting a sewerage system put in and it only goes halfway to a house."
Ipswich West MP Sean Choat said that the completion of the Ipswich Mwy was the core promise made by Blair MP Shayne Neumann at the last election and that Treasurer Wayne Swan had to unveil the funding to finish it in tomorrow night's Federal Budget.
"Shayne Neumann promised the Labor Party would deliver the full upgrade of the Ipswich Mwy from Darra to Rocklea, but they haven't," Mr Choat said.
"They have done half a job and it is holding us back.
"I want to see the funding for the rest of the upgrade in the budget.
"They need to honour their election promise."
But Mr Neumann said "we have engaged the State Government to do a detailed plan from the Darra to Rocklea section of the motorway and they have not given us a detailed business case that sets out in a prudent and sensible way a reasonably costed plan to do it".
"They came up with a nonsensical idea that it would cost $2.6 billion," he said.
"The only chance for the Darra to Rocklea section of the Ipswich Mwy to be funded is with the re-election of a Federal Labor government and for us to secure the money for that purpose.
"(Member for Oxley) Bernie Rippoll and I are arguing that we should do it and I am hoping and expect to see funding for the Darra to Rocklea section of the motorway in the next round of the national roads plan that comes out in 2014."
Ipswich MP Ian Berry backed Mr Choat's call and said budget night was Mr Neumann's "last chance to immediately deliver in full the $2.6 billion required to honour his promise to the people of Ipswich".
But Mr Neumann said "Berry and Choat's side of politics opposed the motorway upgrade entirely and voted against the Ipswich Mwy upgrade repeatedly in Federal Parliament".
"Where is the money from the LNP State Government?
"Where is the money from Tony Abbott?
"They haven't funded or proposed anything."