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    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    Minister for Main Roads
    The Honourable Craig Wallace

    Upgrade works fast-tracked on Kennedy Developmental Road

    Minister for Main Roads
    The Honourable Craig Wallace

    Thursday, August 20, 2009

    Upgrade works fast-tracked on Kennedy Developmental Road

    Main Roads Minister Craig Wallace today announced vital upgrade works on a key section of the Kennedy Developmental Road between Hughenden and Winton would be fast-tracked from a 10 year project to a five year project.

    “Following a meeting held last week in Winton with mayors and representatives from nine north western and central western councils and strong representations from the Member for Mount Isa Betty Kiernan, I have asked my department to prioritise and fast-track works on this section of the Kennedy Developmental Road,” Mr Wallace said.

    “Bringing forward this $23 million project demonstrates the Bligh Government’s commitment to improving access and road safety for communities and industry in north-west Queensland.”

    Mr Wallace said the project involved reconstructing a 40-kilometre section of road between Hughenden and Winton, 20 kilometres either side of Stamford.

    “In recent years, the Government has undertaken maintenance and widening works on various sections of the Kennedy Highway to maintain road safety for motorists,” he said.

    “This project will upgrade priority sections of the road, between Hughenden and Winton, to provide safer and smoother driving conditions for all road users on the key inland route.”

    Mr Wallace travelled the Winton-Hughenden Road last week with Ms Kiernan and the Flinders and Winton mayors to inspect the road firsthand.

    Mrs Kiernan, who organised last week’s meeting between the region’s mayors and the Minister, welcomed the funding being brought forward.

    “The Kennedy Developmental Road is a major regional link used by freight and mining industries to access the Flinders, Herbert and Burdekin districts,” Ms Kiernan said.

    “Local communities also use this road to access vital educational, commercial and medical services across these districts.

    “It’s great that the Minister was able to come out to Winton to meet with the mayors and listen to their concerns about roads and fantastic that he has been able to take action so quickly to fast-track these works.”

    The project will be undertaken through an alliance between the department and RoadTek, with future involvement from the Winton and Flinders councils.

    Winton Mayor Ed Warren said the project would have a positive impact on economic and employment sustainability, with 36 direct and indirect jobs protected by this work.

    “Road construction and maintenance projects are important employment generators in our region so bringing forward this work will provide certainty for workers,” Mr Warren said.

    “It’s wonderful news because this road is so important to the Winton community. It’s our main connection to Townsville, our nearest service centre for our community.

    “I sincerely thank the Minister for coming out to Winton and listening to the concerns of locally mayors and seeing the road for himself.

    “That’s important to us because it delivers good outcomes for us and I’m really grateful to the Minister and his department for taking the time to listen.”

    Works are expected to start on the project by March next year, weather permitting, however maintenance works on this key stretch will continue to be carried out in the interim to ensure road safety.

    During these works, an alternative route will be constructed beside the project to provide a continuous road connection for motorists using this section of the road.

    Media contact: Minister Wallace’s office 3896 3689