More than $76M funding to upgrade four key roads in north Queensland

Funding for the projects has been approved under the Federal Government’s $600 million Northern Australia Roads Program.More than $76 million in funding for four key road projects in north Queensland has been approved under the Federal Government’s Northern Australia Roads Program (NARP).

The funding has been approved for pavement strengthening and widening on the Flinders Highway from Townsville to Torrens Creek ($13.6 million), and the replacement of seven ageing culverts from Charters Towers to Richmond ($20 million).

Works will also go ahead on the Kennedy Development Road where 3.4 kilometres of pavement will be widened to two lanes between Mount Garnet and The Lynd ($2.66 million), and progressive sealing of sections will take place from The Lynd to Hughenden ($40 million).

The four projects aim to achieve a minimum target of 5 per cent Indigenous participation through either employment on site of the use of Indigenous suppliers.

“Investing in these four critical road projects will save lives and help unleash the full potential of communities and industries throughout regional Australia, particularly in the north,” said Federal Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Darren Chester.

“The NARP targets high-priority roads essential to the movement of people and freight to help support the north’s development. These roads are critical to the success of the beef and resources sectors and industries that may be established in the north in years to come.”

Minister for Resources and Northern Australia Matthew Canavan said the $600 million NARP would improve productivity in the north.

“These projects will make it faster and easier to travel around North Queensland and importantly will also increase the flood immunity of the Kennedy Developmental Road,” he said.

“Queenslanders are very familiar with the impact of wild weather, most recently following Tropical Cyclone Debbie. In that case, the Coalition Government’s road investments meant for the first time during a major flood, Rockhampton wasn’t cut off from the rest of the state.

“Our roads investments do make a difference to local communities and help keep local economies moving, even when the worst of Queensland’s weather hits.”

Construction on each of the four projects is due to start in mid-2017.

Pavement widening between Mount Garnet and the Lynd is expected to be completed by late 2017 and sealing works between the Lynd and Hughenden are expected to be completed in 2020.

Works between Townsville and Torrens Creek are expected to be completed by early 2019, while upgrades to culverts between Charters Towers and Richmond are expected to be completed by late 2019.

The Queensland Government will contribute up to $5 million to the Charters Towers to Richmond works, $3.4 million to the Townsville to Torrens Creek project, $10 million to the Lynd to Hughenden works and $660,000 to the Mount Garnet to the Lynd works.

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