The Queensland government has announced one particular project to improve safety along a dangerous stretch of Queensland highway, with funding expected to support the sealing of 12 kilometres of road.
“This funding will deliver approximately 12 kilometres of new bitumen road to create a 16 kilometre unbroken bitumen stretch from the Burnett River to Roslyn Station,” Deputy Premier and Minister for State Development, Infrastructure and Planning Jeff Seeney said in an April 9 media release.
“Upgrading this road will significantly improve its safety and efficiency and will enable the region’s residents to more easily access specialist and medical services available only in Bundaberg.”
Those seeking civil apprenticeships in the Burnett/Bundaberg region should see an increase in employment opportunities as work begins on these critical upgrades.
The state government will provide the majority of the funding for this development, while the local North Burnett Regional Council will also put forward a significant contribution.
North Burnett Regional Council Mayor Don Waugh has welcomed the funding announcement, explaining that the upgrade will “give the region a whole new lease on life”.
“This road is the lifeblood of the area from Monto to the coast. Being a gravel road, it has always needed maintenance and in the past it hasn’t been done regularly due to a lack of funds,” he said.
“This upgrade will benefit the whole region and I can see it boosting the tourism industry as motorists will be able to travel throughout our historical, picturesque valley without discomfort and requiring a four-wheel drive.”
The Royalties for the Regions program has also invested funding in Rockhampton and the Capricorn Coast in order to create an alternative transport route during natural disasters as the current vital road is often overcome during adverse weather events.
“The recent rain event highlighted the vulnerability to our northern access link and this road will alleviate these concerns.” Member for Keppel Bruce Young explained.
“Residents of this area have always discussed the’ road over the range’ and now this road will become a reality … Not only will the Link Road ease congestion for everyday commuters and tourists, but it will serve as a vital link during significant weather events.”
To date, more than 39 councils have received over $250 million in funding through the Royalties for the Regions program, with further projects expected to be awarded support this year.
By Leanne de Toerkenczy, Public Relations Coordinator