A new report on Queensland’s inland road network has identified $5 billion of works required over 18 years to bridge the gap between existing conditions and ‘fit for purpose’ standards.
The Inland Queensland Roads Action Plan (IQ-RAP) launched in North Queensland this week prioritises upgrades over the next 15 years and beyond.
The plan was developed by consultants Harrison Infrastructure Group on behalf of the IQ-RAP working group, representing a strategic alliance of 33 councils, Regional Development Australia committees, eight Regional Roads and Transport Groups and the RACQ.
Regional Development Australia Townsville and North West Queensland chief executive officer Glenys Schuntner, the IQ-RAP Secretariat, said 52 per cent or $140 billion value of Queensland’s Gross State Product (GSP) was generated outside Brisbane each year.
“The inland Queensland road network is of vital significance to key industries such as mining, gas, agriculture, tourism and the freight and logistics industry, which supports the wholesale and retail sectors,” Ms Schuntner said.
“A key objective of this plan is to establish a methodology for prioritisation of road network investments in the western and eastern zones of Queensland, which is based on: economic value, strategic intent, safety, access and social value.”
IQ-RAP partner, Charters Towers Mayor Frank Beveridge said report would be used to inform the Australian and Queensland Governments of road funding priorities across 33 regional, rural and remote local government areas.
IQ-RAP has identified that more than 3000km of road and more than 300 bridges in regional and rural Queensland require upgrades to bring them up to standard.
The plan covers an area of 1.4 million sq km, which equates to 82 per cent of Queensland’s total area.