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Flinders Highway funding to create opportunities

As an industrial trade route, the Flinders Highway is a critical part of Queensland’s transport infrastructure. However, due to its isolation, improvements are always required on the 754km highway.

According to the Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development Warren Truss, a significant upgrade has been confirmed for construction in early 2016. Coming out of the Australian government’s $228 million National Highway Upgrade Programme, a 24km stretch of the highway will be fully replaced between Hughenden and Cloncurry.

Flinders Highway upgrade required

Mr Truss explained that this project will include a full rehabilitation and widening of the road.

“The Flinders Highway is a critical link in the supply chains serving the North West and North East Mineral Provinces and is a key strategic link serving communities and supporting economic development in northern Australia,” he said.

“The project will prepare the highway for predicted increase in freight demand from high value export industries and improve freight efficiency, economic productivity and highway safety.”

The project is expected to be finished by 2017 and will ensure that the highway can continue to handle the demands from the growing commercial vehicle traffic sector. Of course, this is only one part of the Flinders Highway and with more funding expected, there will be a focus on other sections in the coming months and years.

Growth in Australian construction

Infrastructure construction in Queensland continues to rise, with the latest Australian Industry Group/Australian Constructors Association Construction Outlook survey citing this very fact. Based on its findings, leading construction companies could expect a 4.7 per cent increase in the value of their work in the 2016/17 financial year.

As a result, businesses will have more scope to invest in apprentices and young workers – providing opportunities to learn about the trade and get involved with real-life training.

“The improving outlook for Australia’s diverse construction sector and the balanced composition of that outlook are good news for the sector and for the broader economy,” Australian Industry Group Chief Executive, Innes Willox explained.

Mr Willox also cited that other areas of construction are starting to show positive signs of life – ideal for Queensland apprentices looking for avenues into the industry.

“With commercial construction anticipated to lift in 2015/16 and 2016/17 and with the apartment building boom expected to continue, the outlook is for the most balanced pattern of growth for many years,” he added.

By Leanne Macnamara, Public Relations Coordinator

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