Budget delivers more record road and transport spending for Northern Queensland

The QLD Government will deliver $181.7 million in 2018-19 for Northern Queensland district as part of another record investment in road and transport infrastructure for the third year in a row.

QLD Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey said the region was one of the many beneficiaries of a blockbuster budget as part of the Queensland Transport and Roads Investment Program (QTRIP).

“The funding for Northern Queensland district is part of the Queensland Government’s record spend on road and transport infrastructure across the state for the third year running, with an overall investment of about $21.7 billion over the next four years,” Mr Bailey said.

“We are planning to deliver $1.342 billion of works for this area alone, over the next four years.

Member for Mundingburra and Communities Minister Coralee O’Rourke said continuing works on the Bruce and Flinders Highways along with other key links are the main focus of 2018’s budget.

“The Government is also providing $3.8 million in funding in 2018-19 to local governments in our region through the 50:50 Transport Infrastructure Development Scheme (TIDS) to help Councils deliver desperately needed local infrastructure,” she said.

“We have reconfirmed the Government’s overall commitment to the TIDS with an allocation of $280 million over four years across the entire state.”

Member for Thuringowa Aaron Harper said the major projects for Northern Queensland district in 2018-19 included:

  • Riverway Drive Stage 1, continue duplication of Riverway Drive ($14.9 million in 2018-19)
  • Bruce Highway (Ayr to Townsville), start construction of bridges, cane tramway overpasses and intersection upgrades as well as 13.5km of the highway across the Haughton River floodplain for a total cost of $514.3 million (2018-19 $37.7 million)
  • Gregory Developmental Road, continue widening between Charters Towers and The Lynd for a total cost of $42.3 million (2018-19 $14.8 million)
  • Flinders Highway (Townsville to Charters Towers), start of pavement strengthening and rehabilitation works for a total cost of $17 million (2018-19 $8 million)

“Other works planned for Northern Queensland district include completing upgrades to two bridges on the Bruce Highway at Cattle and Frances Creeks and pavement widening on the Bruce Highway between Deep Creek and Bluewater Creek,” Mr Harper said.

Member for Townsville Scott Stewart said this budget showed the Government’s continuing commitment to delivery key infrastructure and create jobs for the people of North Queensland.

“The Government’s investment in roads, rail, marine, passenger transport and active transport infrastructure is estimated to support about 1110 local jobs,” he said.

“2018’s Budget includes $44.3 million in 2018-19 to upgrade capacity of the Townsville Channel, to allow larger vessels safe access and boost trade at the Port of Townsville, at a total cost of $193.5 million – a project the Government has committed $75 million towards.

“We hope that the Federal Government will soon come to the table and match this funding to allow us to get going on this critical project.”

Minister Bailey said rail infrastructure was also a priority for the Government in building for the future of North Queensland.

“The Government’s commitment to rail infrastructure is forging ahead. Geotechnical works and early investigations are now under way for the $100 million North Coast Line Capacity Improvement Project, which will extend eight passing loops for services between Townsville and Rockhampton to improve freight capacity.

“In addition to extending the North Coast line’s freight capacity, we have also fulfilled our election commitment of an additional $50 million towards our total spend of $380 million over five years in the important Townsville to Mount Isa rail corridor, to help upgrade and maintain this vital link to North West Queensland.”

Source: QLD Government