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    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    JOINT STATEMENT
    Treasurer and Minister for Trade and Investment
    The Honourable Curtis Pitt
    Minister for Main Roads, Road Safety and Ports and Minister for Energy, Biofuels and Water Supply
    The Honourable Mark Bailey

    $95.32 million in road upgrades for North Queensland are set to start

    JOINT STATEMENT

    Treasurer and Minister for Trade and Investment
    The Honourable Curtis Pitt

    Minister for Main Roads, Road Safety and Ports and Minister for Energy, Biofuels and Water Supply
    The Honourable Mark Bailey

    Thursday, April 20, 2017

    $95.32 million in road upgrades for North Queensland are set to start

    The Palaszczuk Government has today confirmed construction will begin in mid-2017 on four key road upgrades on the Flinders Highway and Kennedy Developmental Road.

    • $17 million for Pavement strengthening and rehabilitation on the Flinders Highway (Townsville – Torrens Creek)
    • $25 million to upgrade culverts on the Flinders Highway (Charters Towers – Richmond)
    • $3.32 million to widen a section of the Kennedy Developmental Road (Mount Garnet – The Lynd)
    • $50 million to progressively seal the Kennedy Developmental Road (The Lynd – Hughenden)

    Treasurer Curtis Pitt said the Department of Transport and Main Roads had been waiting for the Federal Government to activate their funds.

    “Now that the Commonwealth has released its share of funding, construction can start on the North Queensland projects,” Mr Pitt said.

    “For me these projects are always about jobs and the sooner we can get surveyors and geotechs on site, the sooner we can get the heavy machinery on site to get major works underway.

    “I must say that I’m concerned about the time it’s taken the Federal Government to activate these funds, at a time when Townsville needs as much support as possible to stimulate local jobs.

    “The Palaszczuk Government has had our full share of funding for these four projects available since my Budget last June – in fact we have funds ready to go for all the projects announced under the Northern Australia Roads Programme (NARP).

    “I’m relieved that we can now get on with delivering these vital upgrade projects that will greatly improve safety and travel times on the Flinders Highway and Kennedy Developmental Road.”

    Minister for Main Roads Mark Bailey said construction on all four projects would begin in the coming months.

    “The Palaszczuk Government has had our funding set aside from the beginning and we’ve worked hard to get federal funding for Queensland roads under NARP because we know how important our roads are to North Queensland’s economy,” Mr Bailey said.

    “Pavement widening on the Kennedy Developmental Road between Mount Garnet and the Lynd is expected to be completed by late 2017.

    “Sealing works between the Lynd and Hughenden are expected to be completed by late 2020.

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

    Mr Bailey said while it was great the Federal Government was delivering on their promise, they had short changed Queensland when it comes to regional roads.

    “The Federal government originally allocated $375 million in NARP funding for Queensland in their budget, but they went back on their word allocating $223.8 million, ripping Queenslanders off by more than $150 million,” he said.

    “We put forward 26 projects and, had our 20 per cent funding on the table for all of them, but the Federal government only committed to ten projects.

    “This means projects like installing overtaking lanes or improving heavy vehicle safety on the Flinders Highway between Townsville and Charters Towers miss out.”

    Minister Assisting the Premier on North Queensland Coralee O'Rourke said Queensland has more than 186,000 km of roads, including 33,000km of state-controlled roads, which is more than any other state or territory.

    “It’s great to see this funding finally flow through, but it’s not enough. North Queensland deserves the additional $150 million funding we were promised from the beginning,” Mrs O’Rourke said.  

    “We need these projects to happen, to get shovels in the ground and to support regional jobs, our local communities and local industries deserve nothing less."

    List of unfunded Queensland NARP projects:

    • Flinders Highway (Hughenden – Cloncurry):  Pavement widening and strengthening (Package 2)
    • Flinders Highway (Townsville – Charters Towers):  Overtaking lanes
    • Flinders Highway (Townsville – Charters Towers):  Heavy vehicle safety and productivity package
    • Capricorn Highway (Rockhampton – Duaringa):  Valentine Creek bridge upgrade
    • Gregory Developmental Road (Belyando Crossing – Charter Towers):  Pavement widening
    • Gulf Developmental Road (East of Mount Surprise – Normanton):  Pavement widening (Package 1)
    • Landsborough Highway (Barcaldine – Cloncurry):  Heavy vehicle rest areas and stopping places
    • Burke and Karumba Developmental Roads (Cloncurry – Karumba):  Pavement widening (Package 1)
    • Cairns (Captain Cook Highway):  Cairns Airport Access upgrade (Stage 1)
    • Capricorn Highway (Duaringa – Emerald):  Gregory Highway intersection upgrade

    Media Contacts

    Treasurer Pitt                             Scott Forbes                                  0419 945 546

    Minister Bailey                           Zoe Russell                                    0428 079 640

    Minister O’Rourke                     Neva Woolmer                                0408 317 992