Capricorn Highway upgrades will create new economic opportunities

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The Capricorn Highway upgrades have received significant funding from Federal and State Governments over the last two years, further cementing Rockhampton’s position as the gateway to Northern Australia.

Rockhampton Region Acting Mayor Neil Fisher said the current Capricorn Highway upgrades and planning to build the critical missing links will help to improve the safety and serviceability of the highway, benefitting locals and building further links to regional Queensland and Northern Australia.

“The upgrades will further connect south-east Queensland to Central and Western Queensland. These highways significantly service regions with general freight, important agricultural and cattle movements and resource sector traffic servicing the all-important Bowen and Galilee Basins,” Acting Mayor Fisher said.

“The Capricorn Highway is Central Queensland’s principal east-west freight corridor and is the lifeline for numerous Western Queensland towns. The need to continue investment in key highway connections between Rockhampton and Western Queensland is critical for future proofing Northern Australia.

“The Capricorn Highway is a key connector to the inland towns of Alpha, Tambo, Blackall and Jericho. As primary producers in the cattle industry, we’re excited for the development of this corridor to assist these areas in continuing to provide beef products to Australia and internationally.

“It is great to see the Rockhampton region securing important funding for integral infrastructure works and I encourage both levels of Government to continue to recognise the economic benefits of investing in infrastructure for regional Queensland and planning for those missing links.”

Executive Manager of Advance Rockhampton, Mr Greg Bowden, said Rockhampton is well positioned to provide crucial road, rail, air and sea connections to Central, Western and North Queensland.

“The economic growth opportunities associated with these key connections will create and sustain further employment across Northern Australia. Rockhampton and the Capricorn Highway is part of Australia’s key freight route network and the upgrades will help to improve the region’s transport infrastructure, further enhancing local businesses’ ability to service key industries surrounding our region,” Mr Bowden said.

“The upgrades are critical to the movement of products to and from key markets and for connecting regional areas to key transport hubs like Rockhampton. The Advance Rockhampton team will continue to work closely with our regional neighbours and our local industries to further entrench our local businesses into the job-rich resources and agricultural sectors created by these upgrades and as a result of any new linkages across Central and Western Queensland.

“Visitors to the region will also benefit from these upgrades. The Capricorn Highway is featured as one of the scenic drives in the Drive Inland Strategy, and we look forward to further encouraging travellers to explore the hidden treasures of Regional Australia and put Rockhampton on their radar.”

Once complete, the Capricorn Highway upgrades will see new transport infrastructure including intersection upgrades, wider roads, additional overtaking lanes and on-road cycling facilities added. The upgrades are expected to be complete by mid-2021.

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