Central Queensland roads: investing in the region's prosperity
06 August 2015
Critical road infrastructure upgrades in central Queensland form a major part of the Australian Government's commitment to supporting economic development in the state.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development Warren Truss said the Australian Government has allocated around $1 billion to road projects in the Flynn and Capricornia electorates, including works on the Bruce Highway, Eaton Range, local roads and bridges, and through the Government's White Paper on Developing Northern Australia Our North, Our Future.
“The Australian Government is investing in a comprehensive works programme to improve road transport efficiency and safety along the Bruce Highway—a corridor that is vital to economic growth in central Queensland,” Mr Truss said.
“The Australian Government is providing over $630 million for safety related works along the Bruce Highway, such as overtaking lanes and pavement widening, including several projects in central Queensland.
“Similarly, the Australian Government provided $136 million of the $170 million cost of upgrading bridge and road infrastructure where the Bruce Highway crosses the Yeppen floodplain, just south of Rockhampton.
“This will greatly reduce the impact of flooding on the Bruce Highway.
“These improvements will bolster the Bruce Highway's reliability and role in providing the primary link between agriculture and resource industries in central Queensland, the region's major bulk commodity ports and the state's most dynamic growth area, South East Queensland.
“Through the Northern Australia White Paper, and in partnership with the Queensland Government, we are also providing funding for road infrastructure through a $600 million roads package, which could include projects of benefit to central Queensland.
“On top of that, we are investing a further $100 million in the Northern Australia Beef Roads Fund to improve the resilience and productivity of northern cattle supply chains.”
Mr Truss said that, under the Coalition's iconic Roads to Recovery Programme, councils in central Queensland will receive $115.9 million over the five years to June 2019, for local road upgrades of their own choice.
“This includes a major boost of $39.9 million over the next two years in extra funding for the programme announced by our Government in June 2015,” Mr Truss said.
“Road safety in central Queensland is also being improved through funding of $5.7 million for 32 projects under the Black Spot Programme.
“Improving the safety and efficiency of the road network in the region is a priority for the Australian Government.
“As part of the Northern Australia White Paper, the Australian Government has also committed $200 million for new water infrastructure facilities across northern Australia, including in central Queensland, to improve the reliability and accessibility of water supplies.
“Urannah Dam near Mackay, which services around 12,000 hectares of agricultural land, is one project that has significant investment potential, as well as Nathan Dam and Rookwood and Eden Bann weirs.
“The Coalition in government is committed to central Queensland for the long haul because we recognise its great potential. The development and growth of this region will serve Queensland, and Australia, well into the future.
“As a government, we are backing central Queensland.”