Works are underway in North West Queensland to improve the safety of Aramac – Torrens Creek Road at Prairie Creek Crossing.
The $10 million project will strengthen the pavement and widen a floodway at Prairie Creek, about 100 kilometres south of Torrens Creek off the Flinders Highway.
Construction is set to start this month and will continue until mid-2022, supporting 32 jobs in the region.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Barnaby Joyce said the works will reduce current annual closures of Prairie Creek Crossing due to flooding, which interrupt travel reliability for the local community as well as freight and tourism industries.
“Our investment at Prairie Creek forms part of a larger program of works on the Aramac – Torrens Creek Road,” the Deputy Prime Minister said.
“This investment will improve safety, efficiency and travel time reliability for the freight industry, tourists, and locals.
“As well as the $10 million Prairie Creek floodway upgrade, the Australian Government is also providing funding to progressively widen and seal the Aramac – Torrens Creek Road.
“This is another example of our record $110 billion infrastructure investment plan in action, helping to connect communities and improve safety, while creating jobs and supporting our economic recovery.”
Queensland Assistant Regional Roads Minister Bruce Saunders said the Queensland Government was proud to deliver upgrades to the community, which had been calling for action in the area.
“This is a key road for the local freight industry that is often impacted by flooding, so the upgrade will support these businesses into the future and make it safer for locals,” Mr Saunders said.
“The road links Townsville and Rockhampton to the regional centres of Barcaldine, Cloncurry, Hughenden, Longreach, and Winton as well as providing an alternative route to the Landsborough, Flinders and Capricorn Highways in the event of flooding.
“With a total of $30 million in funding being pumped into upgrades on the Aramac – Torrens Creek Road, we’re helping to provide more reliability for local businesses.
“This project is another example of the Queensland Government investing in regional Queensland and supporting local jobs.
“Improving the safety and reliability of the crossing will benefit the community now and well into the future.”
Special Envoy for Northern Australia and Senator for Queensland Susan McDonald said the Federal Government’s road investment strategy was designed to improve safety and prevent outback communities from being cut off in the wet season.
“The amount of cattle, minerals and general freight using this road is phenomenal, and it’s crucial that we keep trucks moving and moving them more safely,” Senator McDonald said.
“Of course, the most important freight of all is people, and improved roads reduce serious crash risks and also open up our rural areas to more tourism.”
The Prairie Creek Crossing upgrade will be delivered by the Flinders Shire Council. Flinders Shire Council Mayor Cr Jane McNamara said the works would be welcomed by the community.
“We need a well-maintained road network to support our local communities,” Cr McNamara said.
“It’s positive to see this funding going on the ground and improving access for freight and tourism.
“I thank locals for their patience while we complete these important works.”
The $10 million project is part of the Australian and Queensland governments’ Regional Economic Enabling Fund, which is delivering targeted upgrades to roads across regional Queensland on an 80:20 funding basis.