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Miles in Canberra for infrastructure demands



Deputy Queensland Premier Steven Miles has arrived in Parliament House with a convoy of regional mayors to pressure the federal government to restore millions of dollars in infrastructure funding.

In the latest move in the battle between the Commonwealth and Queensland over major increastructure cuts, the delegation will plead for federal minister Catherine King to reconsider the axing of major road and rail projects

The group, which includes Ipswich mayor Teresa Harding and Western Downs mayor Paul McVeigh, were set to voice their demands on Wednesday morning.

Nine Queensland projects, including major road upgrades, were among the 50 projects across Australia axed as part of the federal government’s response to an infrastructure review of the country’s $120bn 10-year pipeline.

Earlier this month, Ms King confirmed the federal government would axe $7.4bn from infrastructure funding across all states and territories.

The federal funding model was also changed from an 80:20 split to 50:50.

The Queensland government has claimed this change would have a significant impact on crucial upgrades to the Bruce Highway.

The suite of changes also cast the Sunshine Coast rail – which the state sees as vital for the 2032 Olympic games – in doubt.

In Queensland Parliament on Tuesday, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk, who has labelled the cuts “outrageous”, said with 2000 people a week on average moving to Queensland, assurances on infrastructure was needed now more than ever.

“Five years ago our population reached five million,” she told parliament on Tuesday.

“Next year it will reach 5.5 million, which is why we cannot delay the need to build our roads, schools, housing and hospitals our state needs.

“We need the federal government to step up to its commitment to help us.”

In the aftermath of Ms King’s announcement, Ms Palaszczuk said Queensland would “make it very clear” that the funding overhaul did not have the state’s cooperation.

The convoy also includes members of the Queensland Trucking Association, and agriculture and farming groups.

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