No budget boost for Mackay, but Tony Abbott still welcomed

PRIME Minister Tony Abbott would not comment on whether the Federal Government would back funding for the much-needed Bowen Basin Service Link during his whirlwind visit to Mackay.

He took the time to visit a small business to spruik the $5.5 billion worth of tax cuts available for small businesses, but gave little in the way of tangible funding boosts specifically for the region.

When questioned on whether there was scope to support one the Mackay's top infrastructure priorities, the Bowen Basin Service Link (the bypass), he couldn't comment.

Mr Abbott said the Federal Government had "certainly made some massive infrastructure commitments here in Queensland".

"There is almost $7 billion for the Bruce Hwy including major works in and around Mackay," he said.

"Joe Hockey in the budget announced $5 billion worth of concessional loans for infrastructure in northern Australia and it may well be that these projects are projects that could submit for that funding."

Road Accident Action Group road safety co-ordinator Graeme Ransley, who has long fought for the bypass, said it was a State Government road and needed "State Government commitment".

It was disappointing the current and former State Government to date had not recognised the importance of the bypass to the region, Mr Ransley said.

When he asked Mr Abbott about the project yesterday, Mr Ransley said the PM immediately asked to be briefed.

"He didn't brush me off... I thought that was positive," he said.

"I thought it was a step in the right direction."


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