Funding to support vital Queensland roads under the Northern Australia Roads Programme

Media Release

DC120/2016

20 September 2016

Joint release with:

Barnaby Joyce

Acting Prime Minister Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources

Mark Bailey

Queensland Minister for Main Roads, Road Safety and Ports

Matthew Canavan

Minister for Resources and Northern Australia

Ian Macdonald

Senator for Queensland

  • More than $33 million for two projects along the Flinders Highway, one between Townsville and Torrens Creek and the other between Charters Towers and Richmond
  • Almost $43 million for works on the Kennedy Developmental Road
  • Almost $5 million for intersection upgrades on the Barkly Highway in Mount Isa
  • $60 million for expansion of the Capricorn Highway between Rockhampton and Gracemere

More than $360 million is being rolled out for new road upgrade projects in northern Australia, with upwards of $140 million being invested in the first six Northern Australia Roads Programme projects in Queensland.

Acting Prime Minister and Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources Barnaby Joyce said the Northern Australian Roads Programme was created to fund high-priority projects which are essential to underpinning northern economic development.

“Australia's north has vast potential for economic growth to benefit both local communities and the national economy. But to deliver on this potential, it's essential we have an efficient and safe transport network that makes the north accessible for both freight and everyday transport,” Minister Joyce said.

“This type of investment has a pay-off for both the local region and for the national economy. We'll continue to identify new projects that will further enhance the liveability and productivity of north Queensland.”

Other allocations under this round include almost $90 million for roads in Western Australia and $130 million for roads in the Northern Territory.

The projects are jointly funded by the Australian and Queensland governments on an 80:20 funding arrangement.

Comments by: Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, Darren Chester

“The funding will improve the safety and reliability of critical routes and support economic growth in the nation's north,” Minister Chester said.

“More than $33 million will go to two projects along the Flinders Highway, one between Townsville and Torrens Creek and the other between Charters Towers and Richmond.

“Almost $43 million has been allocated for widening and sealing works on the Kennedy Developmental Road, and almost $5 million for intersection upgrades on the Barkly Highway in Mount Isa.

“The final project to be funded under this round is the four-laning of the Capricorn Highway between Rockhampton and Gracemere, where almost $60 million will be used to expand it from two lanes to four.”

Comments by: Queensland Minister for Main Roads, Road Safety and Ports Mark Bailey

“The Queensland Government shares the Australian Government's commitment to improving key roads in the state's north,” Minister Bailey said.

“The Flinders Highway is a critical hinterland road link to major northern centres and this investment will address issues such as ageing road surfaces, flooding and safety risks posed by traffic ranging from road trains to tourist vehicles.”

Comments by: Minister for Resources and Northern Australia, Senator Matthew Canavan

“As we put in place our comprehensive plan for the region through initiatives in the White Paper on Developing Northern Australia, we'll continue to identify new projects that will further enhance the liveability and productivity of north Queensland,” Minister Canavan said.

Comments by: Senator Ian Macdonald

“The road from Townsville to Mount Isa is such an important part of the economy of north Queensland and this upgrade will mean efficiencies and therefore benefits and jobs for the north,” Senator Macdonald said.

“These works will also complement the recently announced Townsville Eastern Access Rail Corridor Project and the new Port Road and provide tangible evidence of the Federal Government's development plans for northern Australia.”