The Federal Government has announced a $730 million road plan to open up North Queensland to more traffic and business.
The investment is expected to seal or upgrade about 700km of road, the equivalent of building a new road from the Gold Coast to Rockhampton.
The investments will concentrate on strategic corridors including:
- Townsville to Tennant Creek – $200 million;
- Yeppoon to Mount Isa – $190 million;
- Cooktown to Weipa – $190 million;
- Townsville to Roma – $100 million; and
- Cairns to the Northern Territory border (Savannah Way) – $50 million
Minister for Resources and Northern Australia Matt Canavan said the investments would help North Queensland recover and rebuild from the devastating floods they recently experienced.
“Roads are the arteries of lifeblood for these communities and better roads will get their communities pumping again,” Senator Canavan said.
“We will build on our efforts to ensure that work on these roads goes to local communities, as we have done through the Beef Roads and Northern Australia Roads program. This will provide more jobs and more economic activity in regional towns.
“The funding also includes substantial investments in Central Queensland and recognises the corridor of commerce that exists between the mines of Mount Isa and the beaches and islands of Yeppoon.”
North Queensland-based Senator Ian Macdonald said the projects would create local jobs through the construction phase, and support regional business into the future by ensuring the sustainability of supply chains.
“Creating a viable network of inland roads has long been a goal of the Liberal-National Government, and the flooding on the Bruce this past wet season has demonstrated the need for alternative inland routes,” he said.
The government has set aside $1.5 billion of the $3.5 billion ROSI program for Northern Australia.
More information on ROSI is available at https://investment.infrastructure.gov.au/key_projects/initiatives/roads_strategic_importance.aspx