Truce puts Toowoomba bypass back on track
UPDATE: Deputy Prime Minister Warren Truss has accepted the Queensland Government's offer to send senior Projects Queensland officers to Canberra to work through details of the Toowoomba bypass.
Queensland Treasurer Tim Nicholls said the officers would make their way to Canberra in coming days.
"I think we can all agree that the Toowoomba Second Range Crossing is too important to be put at risk through bureaucracy," Mr Nicholls said.
"I'd like to thank Mr Truss for his quick response, I know together we can find a speedy resolution and continue working unitedly to make the Toowoomba Second Range Crossing a reality.
"We've got our shoulder to the wheel to get this done after a 20-year wait for the people of Toowoomba, the Darling Downs and the Surat Basin, all of whom deserve the jobs, safer travel and traffic relief the Toowoomba Range Crossing will deliver."
EARLIER: Political squabbling within the LNP ranks has stalled the approval of "guaranteed" funding for the Toowoomba bypass.
A single document has brought the process to a standstill despite the party's State and Federal branches both pledging to fund up to $1.6 billion.
Acting Prime Minister Warren Truss wants access to the State Government's internal funding model for the bypass.
Queensland Treasurer Tim Nicholls says any model is purely theoretical until companies bidding to build the project have submitted costed proposals.
In a nutshell, he does not want to be constrained to a system that is almost certain to change.
Until the paperwork has been shared, the Federal Government will not review the funding.
Mr Truss said Queensland now planned to defer its funding for eight years and asked the Commonwealth for more money.
"It now appears that Queensland is asking the Australian Government to provide a further $123 million to the project, despite the State projecting a surplus of hundreds of millions of dollars on toll revenue for itself," he said.
Mr Truss said he had been asking for access to the funding model for "many months".
The Australian Government has committed $13.4 billion to Queensland infrastructure.
The party-divide is one Member for Toowoomba North Trevor Watts said would soon be mended.
"The paperwork is complex and that's for the bureaucrats to work out. But I will fight to make sure all sides of this discussion reach an agreement and start building the road," he said.
Amid the finger-pointing, Labor candidate for Toowoomba North Kerry Shine said Mr Watts and Member for Groom Ian Macfarlane had a lot to answer for.
"Is Mr Macfarlane a man of his word? And what is Mr Watts going to do about this mess?" he asked.
"Tim Nicholls' crocodile tears just can't be believed. There's no way he hasn't spoken to Abbott and Hockey about this.
"We saw the triumphant press conference and Trevor's great leap in the air where LNP politicians - local, state and federal - congratulated themselves, yet now it seems the project's potentially falling in a heap."
Mr Truss was adamant that was not the case.
"The Queensland Government can very quickly address these concerns by providing the required material to the Australian Government," he said.
"It will probably take the Australian Government about a week to evaluate and respond to the financial model proposed by Queensland. This could have been done months ago had Projects Queensland been willing to co-operate."
Mr Macfarlane's office was contacted for comment. None was forthcoming.