Central Highlands Regional Council advocates for the complete upgrade of Dawson Development Rd. Photo: file
Central Highlands Regional Council advocates for the complete upgrade of Dawson Development Rd. Photo: file

CQ leaders advocate for complete upgrade of vital road link

CENTRAL Highlands leaders are advocating for the complete upgrade of a Central Queensland road.

Central Highlands Regional Council brought sealing the Springsure to Tambo road project back to the table at the recent Roads of Strategic Importance (ROSI) consultation.

The Australian Government has committed $40 million to upgrade sections of the Dawson Development Rd between Springsure and Tambo, but Mayor Kerry Hayes and Deputy Mayor and chair of the Bowen Basin Regional Roads and Transport Group Christine Rolfe called for funding to seal the entire road.

“We’re grateful for the $40 million in ROSI funding already allocated to seal sections of this stretch of road, but the time to seal the whole deal is now,” Cr Hayes said.

“There are established gravel pits along the road and work crews from two councils, who currently spend a combined $1.2 million in annual maintenance, on standby.”

CHRC Mayor Kerry Hayes.
CHRC Mayor Kerry Hayes.

Funding already allocated to the project will include sealing parts of the road and the construction of a new bridge over Barcoo River.

Mr Hayes said the call for further funding was echoed by the Blackall-Tambo Regional Council and producers during a recent inspection along the road.

“The investment that needs to happen for our future starts on regional roads in our country,” he said.

“And the irony is that agriculture has moved on, the industry has moved on, and travellers keep moving on, all of these economies use this important road regularly and it’s just never been completed.”

The 148km flood-prone gravel road connects the two western towns and is one of Queensland’s largest agricultural supply chains from west to east.

The road has been on the advocacy list of local governments and the Central Queensland Regional Organisation of Councils under the tagline ‘reef to red ridge’.

It is also part of the visionary west-east corridor ‘outback to ocean’ or ‘red dust to reef’, connecting the Diamantina Channel Country with the Port of Gladstone.