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Source: Australian Ministers for Regional Development

Assistant Minister for Road Safety and Freight Transport, Scott Buchholz has completed a week long trip in Far North and Western Queensland with local mayors to see the Federal LNP Government’s 10-year, $110 billion nation-wide Infrastructure Investment Program underway.

Mr Buchholz said over the course of the week he and his team covered almost 2,900 kms across 9 shires visiting 18 projects representing over $200m in Federal Government funding.

“It is incredible to see the graders moving the gravel and the local council workers in their high vis with shovels in the ground, building these life changing roads and bridges.”

“Sadly, I was bookended by parliamentary sitting weeks, so I was restricted to only a week but I was fortunate to visit 18 projects across Far North and Western Queensland worth over $200 million in Federal funding, and these were just the projects I drove past, there are many more!”

“We started our trip in Townsville and on Tuesday went out to Flinders Shire with Mayor Jane McNamara, where I inspected the Torrens Creek – Aramac Road and the Prairie Creek Bridge. Both projects have $16 million and $8 million worth of Federal Government funding, respectively in the pipeline.

“We then continued up to the Kennedy Developmental Road (KDR) north of Hughenden to see the graders shifting the gravel on the second $40 million tranche of Federal funding for the KDR.

“On Wednesday we arrived in Richmond to meet Mayor John Wharton and inspected the site where the new Richmond Heavy Vehicle Rest Area will be constructed, opposite the new roadhouse. The Richmond Roadhouse was a place of refuge for transport workers during the recent floods, and this rest area upgrade has been much needed for a long time. The Federal Government is committing $139,405 on a 50:50 basis with the Richmond Shire Council to get this built.

“We then ventured south on the Richmond – Winton Road to see the work underway by the Shire on the Federal Government’s $10.4 million progressive seal of this vital freight route.

“In the afternoon I continued on to Cloncurry where I met with Mayor Greg Campbell and inspected the sites of the proposed $443,783 upgrade to the Cloncurry Clean Yards and also the $2m Coppermine Creek Bridge replacement in town. Both of these projects have been funded on a 50:50 basis with Cloncurry Shire. Late in the afternoon we headed out to Cloncurry – Dajarra Road, which has received $16 million in Federal funding to seal near Phosphate Hill.

“Thursday morning was an early start to meet Carpentaria Shire Mayor Jack Bawden at the Burke and Wills Roadhouse, then we travelled up the McAllister Mail Run and into Normanton and Kurumba to inspect the Burke Development Road corridor, which has $50 million allocated under the Federal Government’s Roads of Strategic Importance Program.

At this point we turned east and headed into Croydon to see the $4.1 million sealing works on the Croydon – Richmond Road and also some of the small works underway by the council under the Local Roads and Community Infrastructure Program. We finished the day in Georgetown after inspecting the $487,000 strengthening works on the Little River Bridge, funded under the Federal Government’s Heavy Vehicle Safety Productivity Program.

“Our final day began with a bridge inspection at Routh Creek Bridge, east of Georgetown. We are investing $600,000 in this project to strengthen the bridge on this essential freight route.

“I then travelled up the Ootan Road with Mayor Angela Toppin of Mareeba Shire Council to inspect some of the Federal Government sealing works that have been completed. After this experience on the Ootan, I have a first-hand understanding of the further work required on this local council road by all levels of government.

“I then stopped in at some recently completed Beef Roads projects on the Burke Development Road to Chillagoe, where I met with local land holders and also visited Tom Prior’s world famous Ford Museum complete with an impressive collection of Ford Motor Cars and Prime Movers.

“I finished the trip in Mareeba, where I joined the Mayor and all the councillors to reopen the John Doyle Bridge which received $539,000 under the Bridges Renewal Program.

Mr Buchholz said he looks forward to heading back to Far North Queensland in the near future to see the progression of the Morrison Government’s Infrastructure Plan.

“Our Government simply has so much work underway in Northern and Western Queensland, I could not see everything in this trip.

“I’ll be back, because the Morrison Government believes in the North and we are standing with you, unlocking the enormous potential of these regions.

“We know there is more to do. Building relationships with local Mayors and stakeholders will vastly help in understanding future priorities of Far North Queensland.

“I look forward to being back in NQ later this month for the next round of consultations with local and state stakeholders for the ROSI funding priorities.

“Our tagline is ‘Building our Future’, and these transformational projects are doing just that!”

MIL OSI News