Sep 12, 2020

Inland councils seek $200m commitment on roads

Inland councils seek $200m commitment on roads

An action group is keen to put inland roads funding firmly on the agenda in Queensland in the lead up to the State election.

The Inland Queensland Roads Action Project (IQ-RAP) working group has has sent letters to each political party to request infrastructure investment commitments over the next four years.

They have been asked to endorse the Inland Queensland Road Network Strategy, invest $200 million into currently unfunded priorities across the 28 local government areas covered by IQ-RAP, and progress detailed planning for the identified priorities.

Additionally, they have asked for a commitment to work collaboratively with all IQ-RAP Partners to secure Federal funding and work collaboratively to roll out funding in a timely manner to ensure benefits can be achieved as quickly as possible.

Working group chair Cr Rick Britton (Mayor of Boulia) said the team efforts of IQ-RAP Partners had secured nearly $1.4 billion in funding since February 2016.

But there was still more than $3.7 billion of investment required to upgrade the strategic roads and bridges to fit-for-purpose standards across the 28 local government areas involved.

Regional Development Australia Townsville and North West Queensland CEO Glenys Schuntner said investment into roads had a very significant multiplier effect in terms of benefits.

“Investment can immediately catalyse local construction jobs in each of our communities; businesses will benefit through better and more reliable road quality that ensures greater productivity and efficiency; more areas will open up to tourists; and there will be better safety outcomes for all road users,” she said.

The strategic inland Queensland road network was recognised as being of national significance on Infrastructure Australia’s 2020 Infrastructure Priority List in February 2020, an important step in attracting future investment.