May 19, 2020

Rush on roadworks in plan to supercharge economy

Rush on roadworks in plan to supercharge economy

More than $400 million in roadworks spending is being brought forward under a Queensland Government strategy to supercharge the economy through the COVID-19 recovery.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the boost would see new projects added to the state’s $23 billion, 21,500-job pipeline of transport and road upgrades.

The funding boost was announced as part of The Queensland Economic Recovery Strategy: Unite and recover for Queensland Jobs.

“Our laser focus is on managing the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, and it’s investing in infrastructure and jobs that is crucial to tackling those economic impacts head-on,” Ms Palaszczuk said.

The stimulus package includes $200 million in funding to increase resilience, widen and seal key freight routes across the state as well as upgrade older bridges and culverts, which is a direct injection for regional jobs and will help support council crews.

Major regional Queensland projects to attract new funding include a $35 million Lawrie St upgrade at Gracemere near Rockhampton and a $13 million Proserpine-Shute Harbour Road duplication and intersection upgrade.

The accelerated funding also includes $8.9 million to widen Herveys Range Developmental Rd at Townsville and $3.5 million for works on Mulgrave Rd and Brown St in Cairns.

Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey said the vast majority of the $400 million that had been brought forward would go directly to the regions, supporting 360 jobs.

“We’ve already got hundreds of millions of dollars in projects underway right now, including millions for projects being built with councils through our TIDS program, and they’ll all be joined by much bigger ones to hit the ground running in coming months,” he said.

The new infrastructure injection adds to major projects already slated to kick off this year including the $481 million Bruce Highway upgrade from Edmonton to Gordonvale in Cairns and the $110 million Mackay Northern Access upgrade.

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