A major civil works project has received funding in Queensland’s Central Highlands, which is encouraging for those seeking apprenticeships in Emerald or other nearby towns.
Central Highlands Regional Council welcomed the announcement of funding from the State Government’s Royalties for the Regions program, which will be used to upgrade the Arcadia Valley Road.
The funding will cover $8 million of the $11.8 million project, which will seal 23.5km of the Arcadia Valley Road.
“This is great news for the community in the Arcadia Valley, who have been lobbying for a long time to have their road improved,” Mayor Peter Maguire said in an October 21 media release.
In addition to sealing the unsealed sections of the road to provide a consistent and all-weather surface, the upgrade will include widening of narrow sealed sections to negate the need for vehicles to ride on an unsafe, unsealed shoulder.
Also planned are minor improvements in alignment, intersection works and improved signage and delineation. These works should vastly improve traffic safety in Acadia Valley for all road users.
“The increase in traffic caused by the coal seam gas industry activity has been significant. For the residents, a safe and trafficable road is a lifeline for their businesses, their education and their social well being,” Mr Maguire said.
The road improvements funding comes in addition to the signing of a $3 million Community Infrastructure Plan between Council and Santos, an Australian oil and gas exploration and production company working in the area.
“This is only the beginning of what will be a long term relationship with Santos, and I trust that it will be a partnership that will continue to bring benefits to everyone concerned,” said Mr Maguire.
Santos’s backing of the Central Highlands community complements the company’s long-term support of employment, apprenticeships and traineeships in Queensland, as shown by their in depth and diverse careers programs.
The shared contributions from the State and Santos are an indication of the confidence in the region’s industry and also the Council’s capacity to deliver projects.
“It is a great example of positive partnerships delivering real results for the people of the Central Highlands,” he said.
The council has already begun preliminary work on the project, purchasing materials and making gravel, and work is expected to take around 12 months.
“The only thing stopping us getting onto the road and doing the work now is the continued dry weather. We need to have access to a good water supply to ensure the road work can be completed efficiently and to a high standard.”