Six new overtaking lanes on Capricorn Highway

Drivers and industries from Rockhampton to Emerald are reaping the benefits of the jointly funded $19 million Capricorn Highway overtaking lanes project.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said the Australian Government’s $15.2 million commitment was a significant investment in road safety and the Central Queensland road network.

“The Capricorn Highway forms part of Australia’s Key Freight Road Network and Queensland’s Priority Freight Network, connecting the Bruce Highway in the east and the Landsborough Highway in the west,” the Deputy Prime Minister said.

“Investing in the Capricorn Highway is part of our record $110 billion infrastructure investment – an investment that Central Queenslanders are directly benefiting from.

“The addition of the six overtaking lanes will significantly increase freight efficiency and improve safety for everyone using the road.”

Queensland Minister for Transport and Main Roads Mark Bailey said works had finished ahead of schedule and importantly provided 61 much-needed jobs in construction as part of the state’s economic plan for recovery from COVID-19.

“Combined, the Central Highlands and Rockhampton regions inject more than $15 billion into our economy each year and it’s vital we continue to invest in the jobs and infrastructure needed as part of our economic recovery plan,” Mr Bailey said.

“Drivers are now making the most of three eastbound and three westbound overtaking lanes, as well as wide centreline treatments.

“It’s part of the Queensland Government’s record $1.7 billion roads and transport budget for Central Queensland, which is helping to support 1,700 jobs in the region.”

Federal Member for Capricornia Michelle Landry said there were now seven eastbound and eight westbound overtaking lanes on the Capricorn Highway between Rockhampton and Emerald.

“These six new overtaking lanes will increase the number of overtaking opportunities through this section of highway, which carries significant mining, agricultural and tourism industry traffic,” Ms Landry said.

“Continuing to invest in projects that improve the capacity and safety of our road network is a priority for the Australian Government.”

Federal Member for Flynn Ken O’Dowd said the local community would benefit from improved safety on the highway.

“Over six million tonnes of freight are transported on the Capricorn Highway annually,” Mr O’Dowd said.

“Certain areas of the highway have some of the highest oversized vehicle traffic counts in Queensland.  These upgrades will benefit the community by providing safer roads and making high-risk overtaking manoeuvres less common – leading to a lower risk of head-on crashes and improved interactions between freight and local traffic.”

State Member for Rockhampton Barry O’Rourke said completion of the $19 million project would soon be joined by completion on the $75 million jointly funded Capricorn Highway duplication between Rockhampton and Gracemere expected mid-next year, weather permitting.

“As part of more than $4.8 billion in roads stimulus jointly funded with the Australian Government, we’ll also soon be getting started on the $35 million Lawrie Street upgrade, which I know regular drivers in the region are keen to see,” Mr O’Rourke said.

“Whether it’s beef or resources, our region’s industries benefit from better roads. That’s why we’re seeing a roads bonanza in our region supporting construction, supporting jobs and supporting our multi-billion-dollar economy.”

The Capricorn Highway (Rockhampton to Emerald) – Overtaking Lanes project is jointly funded, with the Australian Government committing $15.2 million and the Queensland Government $3.8 million.

Media contact: 

Deputy Prime Minister - Jo Williamson 0418 475 668

Minister Bailey - Francis Dela Cruz 0420 592 078