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Federal Government Keeps Queensland Moving

John Anderson

Deputy Prime Minister
Minister for Transport and Regional Services
Leader of the National Party

A5/Budget

14th May 2002

The Federal Government will spend $342.5 million on Queensland roads in 2002-03, including widening the Bruce Highway at Cairns, upgrading the Caboolture Motorway, and providing more funds for road safety, the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Transport and Regional Services, John Anderson, said today.

"The Government's Queensland road package focuses on meeting the commitments in our transport action plan, Keeping Australia Moving," Mr Anderson said.

"We will spend $180.8 million in 2002-03 on the Bruce, Warrego, Cunningham, New England, Gore, Landsborough and Barkly highways. We will spend a further $28.4 million on road projects that require shared funding from the Queensland Government.

Barkly Highway

"The RACQ has dubbed the Barkly Highway as Queensland's worst road. We are going to fix it. We will spend $53.6 million to improve this link during the next three years ($9.6 million in 2002-03), with particular emphasis on the Mount Isa-Camooweal section.

"In particular, low-level bridges that delay motorists for days and sometimes weeks at a time will be replaced. New bridges are being built over the Georgina River and Inca Creek, either side of Camooweal, while new bridges are planned for Buckley River and the Johnson and Nowraine creeks.

Southern access to Cairns

"The Federal Government will spend $7 million in 2002-03 to widen the Bruce Highway to six lanes south of Cairns, which will reduce peak period traffic delays and congestion. The total cost of this initiative will be $13.5 million. Part of the route, between Portsmith and Sheehy roads, should be open before Christmas 2002.

"The Member for Leichhardt, Warren Entsch, has been a strong campaigner for the project, and I congratulate him for his efforts on behalf of Cairns residents.

Improving safety for Sunshine Coast motorists

"The Federal Budget includes a further $32.5 million in 2002-03 for converting the Bruce Highway to four lanes between Yandina and Cooroy in the Sunshine Coast hinterland. This $110 million project bypasses the Eumundi turnoff black spot and will improve transport efficiency between the Sunshine Coast and Cooloola Region when all work is completed in late 2003.

"Further north, we are improving safety at several intersections through Gympie, while planning proceeds for a highway upgrade between Cooroy and north of Gympie.

Keeping our promise on the Douglas Arterial Road

"The 2002-03 Budget commits an initial instalment of $9.9 million to the construction of Stage 1 of the Douglas Arterial Road and Upper Ross River bridge. It will relieve traffic congestion on Nathan Street and University Drive, the declared National Highway corridor through Townsville.

"We will contribute a total of $33.4 million to the project, in line with the commitment I made during the election campaign. The remainder of the $48.6 million cost will need to be met by the State Government.

Caboolture Motorway

"The Federal Government will spend $31.1 million on the Caboolture Motorway in 2002-03, as we push ahead with widening the highway to six and eight lanes north of Brisbane.

"The widening is now essentially completed at the Pine River and as far as Dohles Rocks Road. Construction for the remainder of the year will now focus on widening the highway as far as Boundary Road at Burpengary.

Ipswich Motorway

"The Federal Government has pledged $64 million to overcome congestion on the Ipswich Motorway. The Federal and State Governments are working together to develop the best solution to this problem.

"We will spend $1 million in 2002-03 to carry out public consultation on the best way of relieving the congestion. Construction cannot start until the planning is complete.

Gatton bypass

"Our plan for the Warrego Highway is to provide continuous four-lane divided highway conditions between Brisbane and Toowoomba. In 2002-03, we will take the final step toward achieving that goal.

"We will spend $15 million in 2002-03 toward the $46 million cost of duplicating the 20 kilometre Gatton bypass. The entire Gatton bypass duplication is expected to be operational by December 2003, although sections will be opened to traffic as they are completed.

Port roads

"The Government will contribute $12.2 million in 2002-03 toward the cost of a new interchange off the Gateway Motorway, under a partnership arrangement with the State Government and the Port of Brisbane Corporation. It forms part of a $200 million road linking the Gateway Motorway directly with the Port of Brisbane at Fisherman Islands.

"The proposed Gladstone Port Access Road receives Federal Government funding of $5 million in the 2002-03 Budget, allowing a start on construction by next year. A further $2.5 million is earmarked for 2003-04.

Peninsula Development Road

"The Government will make $800,000 available in 2002-03 to start planning and design work on upgrading the Split Rock to Laura section of the Peninsula Development Road in Far North Queensland. We are committed to spending a total of $5 million on upgrading the road.

"The 16 km section between Split Rock and Laura forms part of the southern Lakeland to Laura link. Its sealing and upgrading will improve its reliability during the wet and help sustain a growing Peninsula tourism industry.

Mount Morgan-Kabra Road

"The Federal Government has fulfilled its commitment to the people of Mount Morgan with $1 million already made available to complete the much-needed sealing of the Mount Morgan-Kabra Road. The funding will need to be matched by the Queensland Government. The project will open up a new road access to the historic mining town and link it directly to the industrial area around Stanwell.

Local roads

"Local roads in Queensland will receive $124.4 million in 2002-03 from the Roads to Recovery Programme and untied Local Road Grants.

"The $1.2 billion Roads to Recovery Programme is the largest funding injection into local roads by any Federal Government. Local councils, rather than government bureaucrats, are responsible for identifying Roads to Recovery projects, because we recognise that local leaders are best placed to judge the needs of their communities.

Saving Lives with the Black Spot Programme

"The Government has kept its election commitment to continue the Black Spot Programme, which provides funding to improve dangerous locations on Australia's roads. The programme is estimated to have prevented more than 1,500 serious crashes during its first three years of operation. We will spend $180 million nationally on the programme over the next four years.

"Queensland will receive $8.9 million in 2002-03 under the Black Spot Programme, which will undoubtedly save lives.

Bridge upgrading

"The Government recognises the importance of an efficient freight industry for regional Australia and has provided $4 million nationally in 2002-03 to continue bridge upgrading off the National Highway network. The programme enables state and local governments to access Commonwealth assistance for bridge upgrading.

"Unfortunately, the Queensland Government does not rank bridge upgrading as a high priority and is not participating in the programme," Mr Anderson said.

A background brief on the Queensland roads programme is attached.

Media contact: Paul Chamberlin 02 62777680

BACKGROUND BRIEFING - 2002-03 ROADS PROGRAMME - QUEENSLAND

Port of Brisbane Road

Construction of a new $200 million road linking the Gateway Motorway directly with the Port of Brisbane at Fisherman Islands will usher in a new development phase for the city aimed at making Brisbane a key export manufacturing centre for the Pacific Rim. This project receives $12.2 million in the 2002-03 Federal Budget.

Eventually, the Federal Government will contribute $48.6 million towards the cost of a new interchange off the Gateway Motorway under a partnership arrangement with the State Government and the Port of Brisbane Corporation.

The new road will create a new urban transport and manufacturing hub based on underutilised land at the mouth of the Brisbane River and served by its twin sea and air port assets. Until now, a lack of infrastructure - particularly a safe and efficient road to the Port of Brisbane from the Gateway Motorway - has hindered development of integrated, logistics and manufacturing base concept for Brisbane.

The first stage of the motorway will connect to a new interchange on the Gateway Motorway, cross Bulimba Creek and link with Lindum Road. Further stages will extend the new motorway along a new alignment to link with Port Drive - the feeder road to the port complex at Fisherman Islands.

Stage one of the motorway is being delivered through an innovative alliance arrangement involving the private sector.

The new motorway will provide an alternative route for heavy commercial vehicles between the Port of Brisbane and the Gateway Motorway.

Gladstone port access road

The proposed Gladstone Port Access Road receives Federal Government funding of $5 million in the 2002-03 Budget, allowing a start on construction early next year. A further $2.5 million will be spent in 2003-04.

The State Government, Port Authority and the Calliope Shire are contributing the remainder of the $15 million, paving the way for construction to start early in 2003.

Douglas Arterial Road (Townsville)

The Federal Government has committed $33.4 million toward the construction of the Douglas Arterial and an Upper Ross River bridge as a Road of National Importance. The remainder of the $48.6 million cost will need to be met by the State Government. The Federal contribution in 2002-03 is $9.9 million. Additional sums will be forthcoming in future years as construction proceeds.

The Douglas Arterial Road will run from University Road to Upper Ross River Road. The Douglas Arterial will be built as a two-lane road, but provision has been made to widen it to four lanes in the future. Capacity improvements would be made to the roundabout at the University Road/Angus Smith Drive intersection to augment a roundabout at the new hospital entrance off Angus Smith Drive.

In addition to a new three-lane Ross River crossing, the Douglas Arterial incorporates a bridge over University Creek and access ramps at University Road. Additional bridges will be built at University Road, the James Cook University eastern access road and above Angus Smith Drive.

Mount Morgan-Kabra Road

A sum of $1 million has been made available by the Federal Government to complete sealing of the Mount Morgan-Kabra Road in Central Queensland. The $1 million will need to be matched by the Queensland Government.

A sealed Mount Morgan-Kabra Road would be a more direct and less arduous route for motorists travelling between Rockhampton and Mount Morgan.

In a complementary project, the Mount Morgan Shire Council is preparing plans to use Federal Government Roads To Recovery Programme funding to reconstruct about one kilometre of the Mount Morgan-Kabra Road and place culverts over two causeways through the Mount Morgan suburb of Baree.

Peninsula Development Road

The Federal Government has committed $5 million to begin upgrading the Split Rock to Laura section of the Peninsula Development Road in Far North Queensland. A sum of $800,000 made available in the 2002-03 Federal Budget will allow planning and design to proceed. A further $1 million is earmarked for the following financial year.

The 16 km section of the Peninsula Development Road between Split Rock and Laura forms part of the southern Lakeland to Laura link and is a high priority for the Queensland Government, which would need to match the federal funding offer.

Chicory project roads (Isis Shire)

On 5 July 2001, the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Transport and Regional Services, John Anderson, and the Queensland Minister for State Development, Tom Barton, announced a joint assistance package to the Orafti Group to establish a chicory processing plant in the Childers area.

The Federal Government's share was $10 million. Part of the assistance includes $1 million reserved to assist in developing suitable access to the factory site from the Isis Highway.

In anticipation of the plant proceeding next financial year, the Federal Budget includes an allowance to pay $500,000 in 2002-03. The remaining $500,000 is earmarked for 2003-04.

Brisbane cross-town link

Seventy per cent of all Brisbane's road and rail freight is destined for the Wacol-Rocklea-Acacia Ridge area, southwest of the city. The National Highway corridor serving this area follows Granard, Riawena, Kessels and Mt Gravatt-Capalaba roads. These roads form the 11 km Brisbane urban link of the National Highway corridor between the Ipswich and Gateway motorways, but their congestion is compounded by numerous traffic movements caused by inadequate local road links.

A study has begun into the impacts of traffic movements across the road network within the corridor, and also the impacts on residents. It will receive Federal Government funding of $2 million in 2002-03.

Caboolture Motorway

The Federal Government is spending $75 million widening the Bruce Highway/Caboolture Motorway to eight lanes from the Gateway Motorway junction to Anzac Avenue at Mango Hill. Now largely completed, the additional bridge capacity will increase to 10 the total number of traffic lanes over the Pine River. Meanwhile, the Bruce Highway has been widened to six lanes as far as Dohles Rocks Road at Murrumba Downs, with provision for eight lanes in future.

In addition, the Government has announced the next stage in the $200 million upgrading and widening of the Bruce Highway between the Gateway Motorway junction and Caboolture.

$31.1 million will be available in 2002-03 to extend widening to Boundary Road at Burpengary.

Brisbane - Cairns

Yandina-Cooroy duplication - When completed in late 2003, the $110 million Yandina-Cooroy upgrading will return community, travel, safety and other benefits.

Essentially, the project involves two new traffic lanes following the current highway alignment, but with some bends eliminated and sight distances improved.

The approved route solution involves:

  • on and off ramps in the south and an overpass bridge at the Eumundi-Noosa Road/Bunya Road intersection;
  • on and off ramps to the north and an overpass bridge at the Eumundi-Kenilworth Road/Memorial Drive intersection; and
  • a road linking the two halves. Part of the existing highway will be used for this purpose.

The southern intersection with Memorial Drive includes the first stage of a Eumundi bypass for Noosa-bound traffic. Vehicles accessing Noosa represent 65 per cent of the traffic.

The existing highway overpass at Yandina Creek Road, North Arm, is too low for today's heavy vehicle configurations. The project includes a new high-level bridge over the highway and railway line.

Meanwhile, special highway access arrangements have been made for people living in the vicinity of Main Camp Road and Neeraway Road. These include an overpass road near Main Camp Road. These works complement bypasses of Nambour, Yandina and Cooroy completed in recent years with Federal Government funding. The project is worth $52 million.

Gympie safety improvements - The Federal Government has increased its funding commitment for improvements to the Bruce Highway through Gympie to more than $6 million over two years.

Projects earmarked for funding include improved highway access to the Two Mile School and a new entrance to the Pinewood Industrial Estate. The new intersection giving access to the Pinewood Industrial Estate, 2 km north of Gympie, will be completed by June 2002.

Also earmarked for improvement are the intersections at Jane Street/Pine Street ($1.1 million), while $2 million has been allocated for highway intersections at Fritz, Vantage and Horton Roads. This work will proceed in 2002-03 .

Cooroy-Gympie route study - The Federal Government has decided to begin the process of planning major long-term improvements on the Bruce Highway from Gympie to north of Gympie. The decision follows an accelerated federal programme of widening, shoulder and intersection improvements on the existing highway through town. Costing $1 million initially, the study will examine possible future routes for the Bruce Highway over 70 km between Cooroy in the south to Curra at the foothills of the Gunalda Range crossing. Construction is likely to be 15 or 20 years away.

Gentle Annie bend - A bad bend in the Bruce Highway four kilometres north of Childers is being made safer following a $700,000 injection in Commonwealth funds. The rolling right-hand bend north of Gentle Annie is marred by a high embankment, unsealed shoulders and no guardrail to protect the vehicles that take the turn too fast and risk losing control. The highway will be widened over a distance of 650 metres Construction is expected to be completed by 30 June 2003. Isis Shire Council is undertaking the work.

Sarina 'black spots' targeted - The Federal Government will spend more than $1 million over three years to target black spots near Sarina. Planning has begun on a Bruce Highway realignment on the southern approaches to Sarina, while a $150,000 intersection upgrade will proceed next year at Railway Square. It is planned to upgrade the intersection of the Distillery access/Golf Links Road and Ripleys Road at a cost of $900,000, with payments over two years.

Proserpine intersection upgrade - The intersection of Fuljames Street and the Bruce Highway at Proserpine is to be upgraded at a cost of $482,000. Fuljames Street connects with the Bruce Highway at a dog-leg, creating problems for vehicles moving through the intersection. Planning is scheduled to start in May 2002; construction will finish in December 2003.

Proserpine safety projects - At Proserpine, the Federal Government's Safety and Urgent Minor Works Programme includes a safer intersection for trucks travelling to and from the Foxdale Quarry, five kilometres north of town. This work is costing $400,000 and is expected to be finished by August 2002.

Burdekin safety audit - The first stage of a detailed safety audit of the Bruce Highway through the Burdekin region was completed in March 2002. As a priority, it identified specific and immediate safety problems on the highway and also examined how highway traffic impacts on nearby residential properties.

In the first stage of the safety audit, the community identified seven stretches of highway of specific concern. They are the northern approaches to Brandon, the southern entrance to the heavy vehicle bypass at Ayr, Suicide Bend, the Kirknie Road-Bruce Highway intersection, the Burdekin River bridge, Rossiters Hill and the Home Hill CBD between sixth and tenth streets.

Priority is being given to the Kirknie Road intersection at Home Hill, where three people have died in the past 18 months. Intersection design plans are well-advanced. Interim measures have been taken to make the Kirknie Road intersection safer.

Last month, the Government announced that the Rossiters Hill and Kirknie Road projects will be fixed as a priority in 2002-03.

South Johnstone River bridge to Innisfail-Japoon Road - High rainfall has affected the condition of the highway. Commencing later this year, the rehabilitation and safety improvements will cost the Federal Government $220,000. This project adjoins another approved late last year and costing $400,000.

Tully safety works - The Federal Government has approved funding of $50,000 to begin planning traffic improvements along the Bruce Highway past the Tully High School, tourist information centre and railway station. This section of highway includes intersections at Pratt, Andersen and Pollard streets.

Six lanes south of Cairns - Peak period traffic delays and congestion that have dogged residents of Cairns' southern suburbs will be a thing of the past following the Federal Government's decision to widen the Bruce Highway to six lanes between Portsmith Road and Foster Road.

The Federal Government will spend $7 million in 2002-03 on the project; its total cost will be $13.5 million.

Work to widen the Bruce Highway to six lanes between Portsmith and Sheehy roads remains on track for completion by Christmas 2002.

Brisbane-Darwin

Gatton bypass - A start on duplicating the Gatton bypass - one of the most crash-prone stretches of highway in Queensland - began in May 2002.

The 19 km project will cost $46 million. The proposed work includes an elevated interchange at the Gatton-Esk Road intersection serving traffic bound for Brisbane and the university agricultural campus.

Toowoomba Range safety works - The Federal Government is spending $3 million improving safety on the Toowoomba Range crossing during the 18 months from February 2002 to June 2003.

The works programme comprises:

  • $300,000 for extension of median crash barriers and guardrail. This work proceeded in February 2002;
  • $1.6 million for an improved intersection, lighting and crash barriers at the Table Top intersection. Work on this project will be completed in August 2002;

Toowoomba bypass -The need for an additional range crossing south of Mt Kynoch is highlighted by projections showing that traffic volumes on the National Highway routes through Toowoomba will double during the next 15 years.

The proposed bypass corridor leaves the Warrego Highway west of Helidon spa and travels northwest, crossing the Range south of Mt Kynoch before continuing west to cross the Warrego Highway at Charlton.

The Federal Government has committed $26 million, principally for detailed planning, land acquisition and design. All planning is expected to be finalised by 30 June 2003.

Main street resealing - Murilla Street and the Warrego Highway through Miles will be resealed towards the end of 2002 at a cost of $1.5 million.

Mt Isa-Camooweal

The Federal Government upgrading programme for the Barkly Highway between Mt Isa and Camooweal targets various stretches of the highway covering 73 km of the route between 63 km and 195 km west of Mt Isa.

It includes a 417-metre replacement bridge to carry the Barkly Highway over the Georgina River, west of Camooweal. This bridge receives $5 million in 2002-03. The new $14.2 million Georgina River bridge and five kilometres of approach roads will be built to withstand a 1 in 50 year flood. Motorists can expect to be using the higher, flood-free bridge early in 2003, weather permitting.

In addition to the new Georgina River Bridge, the Federal Government has committed $1.9 million in 2002-03 to continue work on the Inca Creek bridge and two associated projects east of Camooweal.

Planning has also been accelerated as a prelude to building new high-level bridges over Johnson and Nowraine creeks and the Buckley River. Replacement structures will be built to a standard that will permit the unrestricted flow of road trains so crucial to the mining, pastoral and tourism sectors of northwest Queensland.

Brisbane-Melbourne

Boundary Road intersection - It will soon be easier for road trains to turn at the intersection of Boundary Road and the Leichhardt Highway at the western entrance to Goondiwindi. The $500,000 project will see a wider intersection with better configuration to allow road trains and their swaying trailers to turn in safety.

Local roads

Local roads in Queensland will receive $124.4 million in 2002-03 from the Roads to Recovery Programme and untied Local Road Grants. The $1.2 billion Roads to Recovery Programme is the largest funding injection into local roads by any Federal Government.

Black Spot Programme

The Government has kept its election commitment to continue the Black Spot Programme, which provides funding to improve dangerous locations on Australia's roads. Queensland will receive $8.9 million in 2002-03 under the programme.