NQ FIRST Leader Jason Costigan has promised $18m in funding to seal more roads in the Whitsunday electorate under his $300m Bitumen for the Bush program, if North Queensland’s newest political party secures the balance of power at the State Election on October 31.

Mr Costigan, who is no stranger to unsealed roads in North, Far North and Central Queensland, said some of the projects he had earmarked for funding across his electorate had been crying out for attention for decades under both the LNP and Labor. He also pointed to neglect by Councils.   “There has never been a better time to make a stand, given the growing number of local people who are fed up with these gravel roads, under the control of the State Government or in some cases, the local Council,” said Mr Costigan, who clocks up about 80,000 kilometres on the road every year including a significant proportion on unsealed roads – both within and outside his patch.

Under Mr Costigan’s plan, paid for by mining royalties and part of NQ First’s $2b Roads to Revival program, the following roads in the Whitsunday electorate will benefit from funding:

• $4m to completely seal and upgrade the Yakapari Habana Road at The Leap  • $5m to completely seal and upgrade the Gunyarra Road at Gunyarra between the North Coast Railway and the Andromache River  • $1m to completely seal and upgrade the Maraju Yakapari Road at The Leap  • $500,000 to completely seal Ramp Road at St Helens Beach • $5m to completely seal and upgrade the Dittmer Road at Dittmer • $2.5m to seal Gloucester Avenue at Cape Gloucester

Mr Costigan said the latest Bitumen for the Bush projects in Whitsunday were in addition to a previous $10m commitment to finally seal the remaining gravel section of the Mt Ossa Seaforth Road at Seaforth and outside the electorate, $100m to seal the Bloomfield Track in Far North Queensland and $75m to completely seal the Clermont Alpha Road in Central Queensland.

“I know all these roads very well myself and hence my determination to deliver this funding but that depends on the voters and NQ First securing the balance of power, so we can at last get our fair share when it comes to those mining royalties, generated in North, Far North and Central Queensland which seemingly always get poured into the South-East corner,” he said.

“We all know we’re in a recession but the exports from our resources sector continue and so do those royalties. The last thing we need is an economic recovery starting in the South-East corner and slowly making its way up north but that is precisely what will happen under the LNP or Labor and these long overdue road projects may never happen. Is that really a desirable outcome?”