‘Immediate’ work to start on CQ crash hotspot
ROCKHAMPTON-Yeppoon Rd will be among Central Queensland road projects to receive a federal cash injection as part of the government’s latest tack towards economic stimulus.
The Government hopes a broader $1.5 billion immediate injection, announced by North Australia Minister Keith Pitt, into the economy through infrastructure projects will bring jobs back online to help stem the impact of COVID-19.
Capricornia Federal MP Michelle Landry said funding for local construction projects was important for maintaining jobs and economic growth in Capricornia.
“Every single job that we support makes a huge difference in our local communities – now and as we navigate out of the pandemic,” Ms Landry said.
Central Queensland projects will include $18million towards Peak Downs Highway between Mackay and Eton, pavement strengthening and resilience along Rockhampton – Yeppoon Road totalling in $5m and progressive sealing along May Downs Road totalling in $8m.
“These types of infrastructure projects will be also particularly crucial for helping us bounce back after the COVID-19 crisis has ended by ensuring we have the safe transport connections needed for all Australians to keep moving,” Ms Landry said.
Keppel MP Brittany Lauga said the joint-funded Rockhampton-Yeppoon Rd project was designed to quickly start a range of critical projects to get local contractors and businesses on board as soon as possible.
She said the duplication of the stretch was funded and nearing a start.
“We’ve got the funding committed for the larger Rockhampton-Yeppoon Rd duplication and we’ll be starting consultation on that soon,” Ms Lauga said.
However, Ms Landry expects the selected contractor either be local or employ locals. “We’ve had some major contracts right around this state where they’re employing people from outside of the state, or people are coming up from Brisbane – this is about local employment,” she said.
Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack said the work towards the package with the states and territories had been harmonious.
Population, Cities and Urban Infrastructure Minister Alan Tudge said 12,000 direct and indirect jobs would be created nationwide.
“This package will support thousands of jobs across our national construction sector, which we know is facing many challenges due to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis,” Mr Tudge said.
“This includes local governments as well, who will receive funding to deliver targeted projects in their area.”
Rockhampton state candidate and local haulage operator Tony Hopkins is more familiar with the problem road than most and knows firsthand how dangerous, specifically on joining and access roads along the stretch.
“I have family and employees that use that road regularly - increased with the increasing population, its needs attention badly,” he said.
Livingstone, Isaac and Mackay mayors welcomed the work that would be commencing in their respective regions.
The Minister for Transport and Main Roads was asked what section of the road was to be upgraded and if a contractor had been signed yet however the Department of Transport and Main Roads (TMR) are yet to respond.