Jobs focus in Townsville region infrastructure investment

Bruce Highway upgrades, funding for the final stage of the ring road and major port and rail investments are centrepieces of the Palaszczuk Government’s record infrastructure budget for the Townsville region.

Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey said this year’s State Budget had focused on improving key transport links around the city.

“More than 1200 jobs for the Townsville region will be supported over four years thanks to the $1.5 billion that will be invested into major infrastructure projects we’ve prioritised for the region,” Mr Bailey said.

“We want people to spend less time in traffic and more time with family and friends, and the $180 million Townsville Ring Road Stage 5 will help to achieve that.

“We delivered our election commitment and had our $36 million locked in since last budget and planning underway, and it was good to see the Federal Government match that commitment in this year’s budget.

“This important project will duplicate the Ring Road between Vickers Bridge and Shaw Road, and provide access to Beck Drive – completing the ring road and driving more freight efficiency

“It will also create almost 200 jobs when we’re ready to start construction, so it backs our commitment to a pipeline of job-creating projects for Townsville.”

Mr Bailey said the Townsville region would also benefit from the jointly-funded $12.6 billion Bruce Highway Upgrade Program.

“In the past 12 months we’ve delivered major upgrades north and south of the city, like the $118 million project we finished late last year to build new bridges over flood prone creeks between Townsville and Ingham,” he said.

“Those upgrades make the highway safer and more flood resilient, and we’re doing the same south of Townsville with the $514 million Haughton River upgrade.

“We’re also widening the highway and building overtaking lanes around Giru to make the highway safer there, while works have started on a package of safety works near Bluewater to the north too.”

Member for Townsville Scott Stewart said the State Budget had also committed funding to projects focused on moving rail and road freight more quickly to support North Queensland’s economy.

“We’ve got a half billion dollar plan to boost mineral rail freight on the Mount Isa Line from the state’s north west through subsidised rail access charges and the construction of a new freight terminal at the Port of Townsville,” Mr Stewart said.

“The $193 million channel widening project at the Port will also ramp up, creating 120 full-time jobs and setting up the biggest port in Northern Australia to receive bigger ships and expand is export potential.

“Improving inland road freight routes is also a highlight of this budget with $50 million committed towards jointly-funded upgrades from Townsville to Tennant Creek and $25 million towards Townsville to Roma corridor upgrades.”

Member for Thuringowa Aaron Harper said $5 million would support planning for a major upgrade of the Flinders Highway, Woodstock-Giru Road intersection.

“We know that upgrade is required to support the predicted increase in vehicles that will access the Lansdown Industrial Precinct once it is established, so we’re doing the necessary planning now to prepare for that,” Mr Harper said.

Member for Mundingburra Coralee O’Rourke said there was $7.4 million to install noise barriers at four sections of University Road between Army Dam Creek and Yolanda Drive, Annandale in Townsville.

“These barriers make a real difference to the residents who live near some of our busiest roads,” Ms O’Rourke said.

“We’ve identified these sections as meeting the standards for new noise barriers so now we have funding locked in the budget we can start on design in the second half of this year.”

Construction will also start in late 2019 on a new shared bike and pedestrian path to improve connectivity south of Ross Creek through Central Park, linking up with existing bike-riding and walking infrastructure.

As part of the project, an additional shared pathway will also be built along the front of the current Dean Street car park, supporting the Palaszczuk Government’s $219 million commitment to support bike riding and walking initiatives over four years.

Infrastructure highlights for Townsville region, including jointly funded projects with the Australian Government:

Major roads projects

  • $514.3 million construction of the Haughton River Floodplain upgrade on the Bruce Highway between Horseshoe Lagoon and Palm Creek
  • $380 million (over five years) to support maintenance and upgrades on the Mount Isa Rail Line
  • $193 million Townsville Channel Capacity Upgrade at the Port of Townsville
  • $80 million (over four years) to reduce access charges for commercial freight on the Mount Isa Line
  • $48 million to construct a new freight terminal at the Port of Townsville
  • $43 million road widening, overtaking lanes and safety improvements on the Bruce Highway between Mailman Road and Mackenzie Creek
  • $9.4 million road widening on the Bruce Highway between Deep Creek and Bluewater Creek (north of Townsville)
  • $6.6 million intersection upgrades on the Bruce Highway at the intersection of Bluewater Station Road, Forestry Road and Toolakea Beach Road
  • $6.1 million safety improvements on the Bruce Highway between Two Mile Creek and Sleeper Log Creek
  • $4 million upgrading of two intersections on the Bruce Highway at Innisfail-Japoon Road and McGowan Drive south of Innisfail

Bike-riding infrastructure projects

  • $7.4 million construction of the Reid Park Active Transport Bridge
  • $2.5 million for Dean Street shared pathway

Maritime projects

  • $23.3 million upgrading of Clump Point boating infrastructure at Mission Beach.

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