Green light for major regional road plan

Bill Shorten has promised $800 million for a Rockhampton ring road if elected to government.
Bill Shorten has promised $800 million for a Rockhampton ring road if elected to government.

Queensland's Rockhampton Ring Road is set for an $800 million federal funding boost regardless of which party wins the next election.

Federal Labor has pledged $800 million to build the road, matching Prime Minister Scott Morrison's commitment in November.

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk's government will tip $200 million into the project, meeting a condition of the coalition's promise.

Mr Shorten said Labor's plan would result in 780 direct jobs for locals and give the central Queensland city an economic boost through easing congestion.

"We want jobs, jobs, jobs for Queenslanders. We want secure, good jobs for local businesses, small businesses in Rockhampton," the Labor leader told reporters on Tuesday.

Ms Palaszczuk said work was expected to start in 2020/21.

"This will be what the Rockhampton residents have been asking for," she said.

Labor has attacked the coalition over road spending in Queensland, seizing on figures released to the Senate's transport committee which showed $2.8 billion would be invested in the Bruce Highway between 2018/19 and 2020/21.

The 2017 budget pledged to spend $3.5 billion - a difference of 20 per cent.

Australian Associated Press