Regional reps to bolster Bruce Trust

Minister for Transport and Main Roads The Honourable Mark Bailey

The Palaszczuk Government has put the call out to regional Queenslanders to help shape the future of jobs, economic recovery and upgrades on Queensland’s critical artery: the Bruce Highway.

Inspecting works on the Bruce today in Rockhampton, Assistant Minister for Regional Roads Bruce Saunders announced nominations had opened for regional representatives who regularly use the highway, are road safety experts or regional development experts to join industry leaders like the RACQ and Queensland Farmer’s Federation on the Bruce Highway Trust Advisory Council.

The Trust was officially launched last year to build on the $12.6 billion plan currently being rolled out on the Bruce, and drive a long-term vision for the 1,677km highway with a series of rolling five-year action plans.

Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey said as part of its plan for economic recovery across Queensland, the Palaszczuk Government committed during the election to expanding the Trust to incorporate more regional voices while also investing an additional $100 million towards a proposed $500 million jointly-funded boost for more upgrades.

“Queenslanders backed our commitment to invest more on the Bruce Highway and expand the Trust, and we’re backing them by delivering on that commitment,” Mr Bailey said.

“Shovels are in the ground on more than 30 projects along the length of the Bruce Highway from the Sunshine Coast to Cairns, but having these six additional voices at the table will help identify what our regions need and lock in a longer-term pipeline of jobs right along the spine of Queensland’s east coast.

Their work will build on projects underway like:

  • $1 billion Cooroy to Curra Section D (Gympie Bypass) – 576 jobs
  • $932 million Bruce Highway upgrade from Caloundra Road to the Sunshine Motorway – 680 jobs
  • $662 million Bruce Highway Caboolture to Steve Irwin Way early works – 664 jobs (for the entire project)
  • $514 million Haughton River Floodplain project at Giru, 40km south of Townsville – 544 jobs
  • $481 million Bruce Highway upgrade from Edmonton to Gordonvale in Cairns – 466 jobs
  • $157 million Rockhampton Northern Access Upgrade – 260 jobs
  • $163 million Bruce Highway interchange upgrade at Deception Bay – 270 jobs
  • $123 million Cairns Southern Access Kate to Aumuller streets bridge decks – 130 jobs
  • $50 million Bruce Highway safety upgrades between Mackay and Proserpine – 95 jobs

“We’ve already got a record $17.8 billion being invested in regional roads and transport over the next four years as well as more than 100 projects on the Bruce in the pipeline, and the work of our new regional representatives will make sure that investment continues well into the future.”

Joined by local MPs Barry O’Rourke and Brittany Lauga at the $157 million Bruce upgrade in Rockhampton’s north, Mr Saunders said the Trust and its new regional representatives would take the politics out of the Bruce.

“You only have to look at the swathes of families moving here and the jobs we’re creating in industries like construction to know that Queensland is the place to be,” Mr Saunders said.

“Projects like the $1 billion Gympie Bypass, $480 million upgrade in Cairns’ south and plans for the $1 billion Rockhampton Ring Road show what can happen when all levels of government knuckle down and work together – and I’m sure myself along with many other Queenslanders would like to see that good work continue.

“We’re talking here about Queensland’s backbone that millions of Queenslanders depend on. It connects locals in regional centres, moves freight between our ports and regional communities, and from paddocks and pits to export markets.”

Mr Saunders encouraged regional community leaders who regularly used the road as well as road safety and regional development experts to put their hand up and join Bruce Highway Trust Advisory Council members:

  • Chair – Peter Garske, a director on the Queensland Transport and Logistics Council and former chief executive officer of the Queensland Trucking Association
  • Deputy Chair – Barbara Madden, company director of the Smithfield Group
  • Chief executive officer, Local Government Association of Queensland – Greg Hallam AM, PSM
  • Head of Public Policy, Royal Automobile Club of Queensland – Dr Rebecca Michael
  • Chief executive officer, Queensland Trucking Association – Gary Mahon
  • Chief executive officer, Queensland Farmers’ Federation – Dr Georgina Davis
  • Chief executive officer, Queensland Tourism Industry Council – Daniel Gschwind
  • Branch secretary, Transport Workers’ Union – Peter Biagini

To ensure regional representation of the nominees, applicants must meet minimum requirements such as living along the Bruce Highway corridor north of Gympie and have some demonstrated experience of regularly using the Bruce Highway, and being a road safety or regional development expert.

To nominate head to: https://www.qld.gov.au/about/join-a-board

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