The Morrison Government will rev up the Far North Queensland economy with $110 million in accelerated infrastructure projects in a bid to get more shovels in the ground.
Funding earmarked for the Peninsula Development Road Stage Two and the Cairns Southern Access Corridor Stage Five, announced in this year’s federal budget, will be brought forward.
Bringing forward these two major road projects will drive jobs and boost the local economy.
The two accelerated projects are part of a wider suite of accelerated infrastructure projects announced by the Morrison Government designed to boost Queensland’s struggling economy.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison said delivering critical road projects sooner, as part of the government’s $100 billion pipeline, was responsible and considered economic management.
“We want these road projects delivered as quickly as possible so Queenslanders can benefit from better infrastructure, but importantly we want to boost the economy now,” Mr Morrison said.
“By bringing forward these important road projects we will drive jobs, boost the economy and make roads and highways safer, while reducing travel times so people can be with their families instead of being stuck in traffic.”
Federal Leichhardt MP Warren Enstch said $98 million of the $190 million earmarked for the Peninsula Development Road Stage Two project will also be brought forward to ensure continued work along the “bucket list” route.
He said stage two would involve the continued sealing of the road and priorities identified along the route.
“This game-changing project has been a one of many firsts,” Mr Entsch said.
“Stage One has provided widespread employment and training opportunities for many indigenous people and businesses throughout Cape York.
“It has also significantly improved access to Cape York for freight, tourists and other road users – it has literally opened up the region to the world.
“But more importantly it is already improving the way of life for countless Cape York residents.”
Mr Entsch said $12 million of the $180 million the federal government had earmarked for the Cairns Southern Access Corridor Stage Five will be brought forward to assist with scoping and planning works.
“The Cairns Southern Access Stage Five project involves a grade separation upgrade at the Bruce Highway and Foster Road intersection in Cairns,” he said.
“Stage Five will improve capacity and traffic flow including movements in and out of nearby suburban streets. It will also improve road safety by reducing congestion around the intersection.”
“Stage Four between Kate Street to Aumuller Street is well underway and this accelerated funding for stage five will ensure we are ready to go once work on stage four is completed.”
Mr Entsch said initial scoping and planning works for the $370 million congestion-busting Captain Cook Highway project announced in this year’s federal budget were progressing well.
He said given the $287.2 million Morrison Government commitment was only made in March this year, it was exciting that planning was already underway with early works expected to commence in early 2021.
“This project will transform the link between Cairns and the Northern Beaches and improve the way of life for thousands of residents,” he said.
“This project will reduce congestion and improve the connectivity of the Cairns road network for local and freight traffic by providing greater accessibility to the Cairns Airport and Port hub to the region’s key agricultural and industrial areas.
“The Queensland Government is under no illusions, especially with a State Election looming, that this is our region’s number one infrastructure project.
“The federal government has put up its share of funding for the project and now the onus is on the Queensland Government to get on with the job of building it.
“I look forward to working collaboratively with Barron River MP Craig Crawford and Cairns MP Michael Healy to ensure this happens sooner rather than later.”