Nov 20, 2019

Deal brings forward major regional transport spending

Deal brings forward major regional transport spending

A $1.9 billion funding deal has been announced to fast-track road and rail projects throughout Queensland.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk released details of the agreement today, which will see spending brought forward on projects including Stage 2 of the Mackay Ring Road, the Rockhampton Ring Road, and Stage 5 of the Cairns Southern Access works.

The Morrison Government said it would bring forward nearly $650 million in funding and provide more than $680 million in new funding, with the Palaszczuk Government committing $606 million.

Mr Morrison said delivering critical road projects sooner, as part of the Government’s $100 billion pipeline, was responsible and considered economic management.

“We want these road and rail projects delivered as quickly as possible so Queenslanders can benefit from better infrastructure, but importantly we want to boost the economy now,” he said.

Queensland Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey said details of the projects included in the deal would be released shortly.

“This is a massive win for Queensland,” he said.

Contractors welcome ‘huge boost’ for the sector

The deal was greeted with delight by the Queensland Major Contractors Association, which has been advocating for better collaboration between all tiers of government to help deliver key projects.

“The funding announced will be a huge boost to our sector and the wider economy through job creation in the design and delivery phases and for the long-term through improved road and rail links across the state,” chief executive officer Jon Davies said.

QMCA CEO Jon Davies.

“Our members look forward to receiving more details about funding schedules and exploring the full project list so they can mobilise their efforts to secure and deliver a much-needed boost to the economy and the state’s infrastructure.”

The Federal Government project funding brought forward includes $225.6 million for Bruce Highway upgrades, including Stage 2 of the Mackay Ring Road, the Rockhampton Ring Road, and Stage 5 of the Cairns Southern Access. Funding is set to flow from 2019-20 and over the next three years after previously being allocated beyond the forward estimates.

There is also $118.5 million for Roads of Strategic Importance (ROSI) initiative upgrades including the Cooktown to Weipa, Townsville to Roma, and Toowoomba to Seymour (Queensland section) corridors, as well as Shute Harbour Road. Funding for these projects is to flow immediately and over the next three years after previously being allocated beyond the forward estimates.

Other wins for regional Queensland include $22 million for new upgrades along the Warrego Highway, $27 million for new upgrades along the Cunningham Highway, and $9 million for road upgrades associated with the Hinkler Regional Deal. In these cases funding is to flow from 2020-21 after previously being allocated beyond the forward estimates.

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