$350K funds to widen road at Bondoola
THE Turnbull-Joyce Government will provide $350,000 to improve road safety and increase productivity for heavy vehicles and major industries near Yeppoon.
Attorney-General Senator George Brandis and Federal Member for Capricornia Michelle Landry announced the funds at Bondoola Road yesterday - an area just outside Yeppoon used by the sawmill and timber industry.
Ms Landry said the $350,000 comes from the Federal Government's Heavy Vehicle Safety and Productivity program and would go towards widening the intersection of Bondoola Rd to allow for better access of B-double road trains involved in the sawmill and timber sectors, along with other industries.
Ms Landry said the money would cover 50% of the cost of the $700,000 project in conjunction with Livingstone Shire Council.
"The upgrade will remove need for B-Doubles travelling to sawmilling and timber operations to decouple prior to the last kilometre of the route," Ms Landry said.
"Currently they have to unhook one trailer, then return later and swap them over - a practice that leads to greater cost and inefficiencies in the haulage industry."
Productivity benefits are gained by removing a two kilometre round trip to retrieve the decoupled unit, while road safety for other vehicles is improved.
On average about 85 heavy vehicles and 8 B-Doubles use the road each day.
The new roadwork will allow for an estimated increase in B-Doubles to 20 per day.
Ms Landry said the upgrades would increase the efficiency of heavy vehicle operations, supporting jobs and growth in other local industries.
"The Coalition is committed to working with the heavy vehicle industry and getting on with the job of providing a productive freight network," she said.
"A strong freight industry supports jobs and growth in our industries which rely on heavy vehicle transport and upgrades also provide flow-on safety benefits for all road users.
"In the 12 months to the end of March this year, 204 people died nationally in fatal crashes involving heavy vehicles.
"This figure that is far too high and highlights how much more work needs to be done to increase safety for heavy vehicle operators on our road network.
"The Coalition has committed to extended funding for the Heavy Vehicle Safety and Productivity program.
"This ensures that the current annual funding of $40 million continues to flow and that it will deliver projects past 2019/20."