Truck drivers and other motorists travelling between Toowoomba to Ipswich and Toowoomba to Seymour will soon have a faster and safer journey, with the Australian Government investing $110 million to upgrade key freight corridors in south east Queensland under the $3.5 billion Roads of Strategic Importance (ROSI) initiative.
The Toowoomba to Ipswich section has been allocated $60 million, while the Toowoomba to Seymour section along the Gore Highway has been allocated $50 million.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said the Australian Government’s ROSI initiative would reduce travel times and better connect regional industries—such as mining and agriculture—to domestic and international markets.
“Under the ROSI initiative we are targeting priority road corridors used by agricultural, mining and other industries to provide more reliable road infrastructure and improve connections across the supply chain and to ports, airports and transport hubs,” Mr McCormack said.
“These upgrades will help improve profitability for our farmers. This investment will also benefit local communities, boosting local economies and jobs by improving the links between regional areas and access to essential services, such as healthcare and education.”
Member for Groom John McVeigh said the 90-kilometre-long Toowoomba to Ipswich corridor sees the second largest amount of traffic for a rural corridor in Queensland and was a key link into Brisbane from a number of connecting freight routes.
“This corridor is the southern east-west spine of the Queensland freight route, carrying around $13 billion worth of freight each year, which makes the corridor heavily congested as well as creating safety concerns,” Dr McVeigh said.
“Our targeted investment in this corridor will improve efficiency and safety, bust congestion and have positive flow on benefits for connecting corridors, including the Toowoomba to Seymour and the Townsville to Roma corridors.”
“The Government’s investment in these corridors will build on our strong record of creating jobs and bringing greater opportunities for local businesses.
Upgrades along these corridors will improve the competitiveness of Australia’s agricultural and mining sectors, opening up access to essential freight networks.
Federal Member for Maranoa David Littleproud emphasised the importance of farmers being able to get their products to market.
“Australian farmers are amongst the best in the world at what they do. However, they need to be able to get their products to the domestic and overseas processors and consumers. Upgrades to these key freight corridors will facilitate this and help improve farmers’ profitability at the farmgate,” Mr Littleproud said.
Dr McVeigh said the Toowoomba to Seymour corridor extended from Queensland to Victoria and offered critical freight access for fuel and key agricultural sectors, including grain and cotton.
“This major route contributes to the competitiveness of Australia’s agricultural and mining sectors and connects to essential freight networks throughout Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria,” Dr McVeigh said.
“These upgrades will address pinch points along the corridor to improve traffic flow, as well as improve productivity for the large volume of heavy vehicles accessing this route. This is a great outcome for freight operators, industry and local communities, who will benefit from the safer, more efficient corridor and improved links between regional towns.”