IN WHAT was hailed as a real coup for AgForce CQ, Premier Campbell Newman and Agriculture Minister John McVeigh were guest speakers at last week's regional meeting.
The Premier had a lot on his agenda for the morning, spanning agricultural colleges and the RSPCA controversy over saleyards to flood assistance and the milk crisis.
A huge issue clearly on the forefront of his mind was the Bruce Highway and other infrastructure damaged by the floods.
We've commited to put an extra $1 billion over the next 10 years into the highway on the basis that the Commonwealth puts $4 billion in.
Mr Newman said state roads were in a dire state, especially in the Boyne Valley, while he expressed his frustration over funding for the Bruce Highway.
He called the highway the "economic lifeline of the state", but as a federal road, repairs on the Bruce were at the discretion of the Commonwealth; the State Government was limited in what they could do.
"We've set out how, over the next 10 years, we would see expenditure to actually address the safety issues and the flooding issues to try and make it safer and less prone to being shut by floodwaters," he said.
"What we've said is that we need to see about $11 billion spent over the next 10 years - $6 billion of that is the traditional, business as usual funding - but we've commited to put an extra $1 billion over the next 10 years into the highway on the basis that the Commonwealth puts $4 billion in."
A spokesman for the Premier said they were still waiting for a federal response to this plan.
Mr Newman said the Minister for Local Government, Community Recovery and Resilience David Crisafulli had asked the Commonwealth to contribute $100 million for betterment works to flood-damaged roads. This was to be matched dollar-for-dollar by the State Government.
"As I'm sure you'd appreciate, that in itself is a very small amount of money given the scale of what we must do," Mr Newman said.
He said he was "intensely cross" that the Prime Minister had offered only $40 million.
Following this, an $80 million betterment fund was announced on Wednesday with $40 million contributed by each government.
A representative from Mr Crisafulli's office said if the Commonwealth decided to contribute the extra $60 million, the State Government would still match that, to bring the fund up to $200 million.
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