Support our RAAF base and upgrade the Cunningham: Neumann
A BIPARTISAN agreement to upgrade RAAF Base Amberley must be matched with a commitment to upgrade adjacent roads, Member for Blair Shayne Neumann declared.
Speaking in the Federal Parliament, Mr Neumann commended the Coalition for agreeing to a bipartisan approach to the base upgrade.
"There is a billion dollars being spent, 5500 people working at the base and a growing aerospace industry," he said in parliament's Federation Chamber.
"But, if you want a big aerospace industry, juxtapose the base - as we've seen spokespersons for the government come to my electorate of Blair and talk about - and then you have to upgrade the road; that is, the Cunningham Hwy, between Yamanto and Ebenezer Creek at Willowbank.
"That's a $345 million project that's in the priority list for Infrastructure Australia."
Mr Neumann said if the government was to spend $1 billion on the base, "you have to get the road right that leads there".
"Every time I go to the base and speak to people on the base-commanding officers and senior personnel-or when I speak to military personnel down here, I will mention this, or they will mention it to me," he said.
"The government has to fix it. It's a real bottleneck.
Mr Neumann said between 7am and 9 am, or from 4.30pm to 7pm, the interchange was a "bane for the people who live in Willowbank and for all Ipswich".
"It's really important to get this done," he said.
"I call on the government to give bipartisan support across this space."
He called for an 80-20 split for the project, and said it was critical the Queensland Labor government allocated its $69 million.
"This is crucial," he said.
"This will be the Ipswich Motorway project on the west side, but it's crucial for the military in the area. It's crucial in terms of the safety.
"We're talking about 2500 heavy vehicles a day and 17,000 vehicles a day experiencing this heavy congestion.
"It will be the start of a proper western bypass, bypassing the RAAF base at Amberley and eventually connecting the Cunningham Hwy to the Warrego Hwy-crucial for southeast Queensland."
Amberley houses the largest air force base in the country, with will soon become the largest military base in the nation.
"I call on the Coalition government to end this roadblock and give commitment to the project," Mr Neumann said.
"If you want to show your commitment to the military, which you boast about all the time, how about you show it by backing up and supporting the men and women in the military on the RAAF base at Amberley and the Army units and aerospace precinct there?
"Fund it in the budget."