Budget delivers for Queensland's Cunningham Highway

The site of a planned major upgrade to the Cunningham Highway, announced in the Federal Budget, was in focus today as Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack and Agriculture Minister David Littleproud toured the upgrade area with Wright MP Scott Buchholz and Senator Amanda Stoker.

Mr McCormack said the Budget had committed up to $170 million to upgrade the Cunningham Highway between Yamanto and Ebenezer Creek, including the upgrade of key intersections at Yamanto and Amberley.

“The Liberal and Nationals Government has delivered a Budget which really delivers for Queenslanders by investing in the road and rail infrastructure the state needs to improve safety, bust congestion and cut costs for businesses by boosting freight efficiency, with $5.2 billion worth of new infrastructure projects,” Mr McCormack said.

Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources David Littleproud said the investment was part of a significant investment in infrastructure across the Maranoa electorate and Queensland.

“As well as this major investment in the Cunningham Highway, through this Budget the Government has committed $3.3 billion in new funding to the Bruce Highway, $1 billion toward the M1 Pacific Motorway, $390 million toward the Beerburrum to Nambour Rail Upgrade and up to $300 million to the Brisbane Metro project,” Mr Littleproud said.

Member for Wright Scott Buchholz said further investments in roads help people get home sooner and safer.

“This is a vital investment, as the Cunningham Highway has the third-highest crash risk of any major Queensland road, with 17 fatalities between 2006 and 2014 alone. The Federal Government is determined to invest in the route to drive those tragic figures down,” Mr Buchholz said.

“Such safety improvements could include safety barriers, better right-turn lanes at the intersections, wider centrelines for safer separation of opposing traffic and overtaking lanes.”

Senator Amanda Stoker said the highway was an important freight link, meaning investing in a higher-capacity route would support regional industries.

“The region west of Brisbane is the centre of major economic and defence-related developments, while these upgrades also promise to improve connections between residential and industrial growth areas,” Senator Stoker said.

“Improving the capacity of the Cunningham Highway will help the route meet the needs of regional freight and commercial traffic, supporting job creation and investment in regional Queensland.”

The Australian Government has committed $170 million to this project representing half of the expected $340 million project cost.