Millions of dollars have been promised to rural councils to upgrade roads, and Maranoa MP David Littleproud has linked the funding to drought relief.
Millions of dollars have been promised to rural councils to upgrade roads, and Maranoa MP David Littleproud has linked the funding to drought relief.

Opinion: MP’s link between roads and drought relief makes no sense

THIS week, our local council, and others across the electorate have welcomed the promise of millions of dollars to repair our roads.

While this will be a great thing - if the governments at both levels can get the Roads to Recovery Program to work where it is needed most - there is still something in the announcement that has been bothering me.

It is the fact that our MP David Littleproud, and more broadly the Federal Government, is trying to make the connection that upgrading roads will be a saviour from the drought.

They mentioned it in the recent drought package announcement, and then again this week with the funding allocation.

Yes, any investment in our small communities is more than welcome when everyone is doing it tough, but to me this connection they are trying to make between roads and drought-ravaged farmers seems flimsy at best.

Sure, we all use the roads, and that massive group does include everyone who has been drought affected, but is it really necessary or appropriate to connect roads to the drought just because they are located in western Queensland?

Fixing roads is desperately needed in our part of Queensland but it isn't going to directly help a grazier pay for feed to keep their remaining stock alive. Why grasp at straws to make any sort of connection?

Perhaps instead they should have stayed on message with the benefits upgraded roads will have for everyone's safety, for our region's trucking businesses who are using them more than any of us, or the tourists who are driving to visit our towns, and providing a huge boost to regional economies. To his credit, the minister did highlight safety and tourism in the announcement.

But all criticism of the announcement aside, I sincerely hope this project delivers on the big promises, and makes a tangible difference in our towns.