The sealing of 9.5km of Richmond-Winton Road in western Queensland is now complete.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said the $4.7 million project was funded under the Northern Australia Beef Roads Program.
“The $100 million Northern Australia Beef Roads Program is providing targeted upgrades to key roads necessary for transporting cattle,” Mr McCormack said.
“The Richmond-Winton Road project is one of many that actively reduce travel times, vehicle operating and maintenance costs and stress to livestock by limiting road roughness and dust.”
Queensland Minister for Transport and Main Roads Mark Bailey visited Winton earlier this year and said the road upgrade would also benefit locals and the region’s fast-emerging tourism industry.
“We’re delivering more than $14.5 billion for regional Queensland roads and transport over the next four years. Projects such as this play an important role in better connecting our rural communities and creating much-needed jobs,” Mr Bailey said.
“When I caught up with Winton Shire Council Mayor Gavin Baskett, we both talked about just how important sealing roads is to the community and to encouraging more people to drop into town.”
Queensland Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries Mark Furner said Queensland’s cattle industry is worth approximately $5 billion and the beef processing sector alone supports 18,000 jobs.
“This industry is dependent on a reliable and efficient supply chain so our world-renowned produce can get to dinner tables here in Queensland and around the world,” Mr Furner said.
Senator for Queensland Susan McDonald said these works have improved the resilience of northern Australia’s cattle supply chains while also reducing travel times and operating costs for livestock transport companies.
“Additional flow-on benefits include economic gains for small businesses located near these key transport links,” Senator McDonald said
In addition to helping secure work continuity for its road building team, Winton Shire Council Mayor Gavin Baskett said the project was encouraging confidence in the rural community.
“Sealing sections of the Richmond-Winton Road has provided safer and more reliable access to health and education services as well as employment opportunities,” Mr Baskett said.
“Upgrading the road also drives the tourism industry which plays a part in boosting the liveability and vibrancy of our community.”
Richmond Shire Council Mayor John Wharton said enhancing links to agricultural markets was another benefit of the project.
An average of 11 direct jobs were supported over the life of this project with Winton Shire Council and Richmond Shire Council delivering the works.
The Richmond-Winton Road Progressive Sealing Project was funded as part of the Northern Australia Beef Roads Program with commitments from the Australian Government ($3.77 million) and the Queensland Government ($930,000).