Those seeking civil works apprenticeships in Toowoomba may be encouraged to hear the Second Range crossing project has now been approved by the federal and state governments.
The Commonwealth and Queensland governments have reached an agreement on the 1.7 billion full-funding of the Toowoomba Bypass project, which is expected to start construction next year.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development Warren Truss has now requested private sector companies register their interest in building the Toowoomba Second Range Crossing Project.
“The registration process will move to a formal Expression of Interest stage over the next couple of months. A successful contractor will be named later this year, with construction expected to begin by mid-2015,” Mr Truss said in a January 31 media release.
Treasurer Tim Nicholls believes more than 1,800 new jobs would be created in the Toowoomba region during construction of the bypass, in addition to significant benefits for the local economy.
“The importance of this project for Queensland’s economy cannot be overstated,” he said.
“Modelling shows over the next 30 years, the Toowoomba Second Range Crossing will help bring about a $2.4 billion increase in productivity in the Toowoomba region alone, boosting national productivity by $3.1 billion.”
The joint funding commitment from the federal and Queensland governments has made the long-anticipated infrastructure project a possibility after many years of lobbying from local council representatives.
“I made a decision when I was elected Mayor of this region that I would put the Bypass issue front and centre of any conversation I had with a state or federal politician. I never gave up,” Toowoomba Region Mayor Paul Antonio said in a January 31 statement.
This bypass project will create a more efficient connection between the Surat Basin and the labour and services supply markets in South-East Queensland.
“Additionally, up to 30-40 minutes will be shaved off the total travel time across the range for heavy and super heavy commercial vehicles, with drivers able to avoid up to 16 sets of traffic lights,” Queensland Deputy Premier Jeff Seeney said.
With an estimated $30 billion worth of mining and development projects planned for the Surat Basin, this bypass project is expected to significantly increase economic benefits within Queensland’s resources industry.
“With the construction of the Wellcamp airport, a planned inland rail route passing through Toowoomba, and now the Bypass becoming a reality, Toowoomba’s future has never looked brighter,” Mr Antonio said.
By Leanne de Toerkenczy, Public Relations Coordinator