NORTHERN AUSTRALIA TO BENEFIT FROM INFRASTRUCTURE STIMULUS PACKAGE

The Hon Michael McCormack MP
Deputy Prime Minister
Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development
Leader of The Nationals
Federal Member for Riverina

The Hon Keith Pitt MP
Minister for Resources, Water and Northern Australia
Federal Member for Hinkler

The Hon Michelle Landry MP
Assistant Minister for Children and Families
Assistant Minister for Northern Australia
Federal Member for Capricornia

Northern Australia will be a major beneficiary of the Federal Liberal and Nationals Government’s $1.5 billion nationwide infrastructure package.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said the investment would provide an immediate boost to the North’s economy and support hundreds of jobs to help recover from the effects of COVID-19.

“Targeting key freight, community access and tourist routes across the North, this package will fund shovel-ready infrastructure projects which will support local jobs immediately,” Mr McCormack said.

“This investment is about keeping construction businesses running and people in jobs, whether it’s on the Kennedy Highway in Queensland, Western Australia’s Great Northern Highway or the Victoria and Carpentaria highways in the Northern Territory.

“This follows our $1.8 billion nationwide boost for local government road and community projects announced in May.

“Late last year we also reached agreement with the States and Territories to bring forward $4.2 billion worth of infrastructure investment across Australia to secure jobs and support the national economy.”

Minister for Resources, Water and Northern Australia and Federal Member for Hinkler Keith Pitt said the investment was part of the Federal Government’s record $100 billion, 10-year infrastructure pipeline, which is laying the foundations of a financial bridge to recovery on the other side of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Across North Queensland, upgrades to be funded include improvements along the Kennedy Highway, progressively sealing the Burke Developmental Road, widening the Gregory Developmental Road and more,” Mr Pitt said.

“In the Northern Territory, we will fund safety improvements including Litchfield Park Road, Tiger Brennan Drive and the Victoria Highway, as well as strengthening and widening works on the Carpentaria Highway.

“In WA, we are funding upgrades including to the Great Northern Highway in the Kimberley region, the Great Northern Highway and Point Samson Road in the Pilbara, as well as Yardie Creek Road and Minilya – Exmouth Road under the Exmouth Roads Package.”

Assistant Minister for Northern Australia and Federal Member for Capricornia Michelle Landry said the spending built on the Government’s $1.7 billion for roads in Northern Australia under the Roads of Strategic Importance Initiative and the $700 million investment under the Northern Australia Roads and Northern Australia Beef Roads programs.

“Today’s package continues our agenda to improve high-priority roads essential to the movement of people and freight to support the North’s economic development,” Ms Landry said.

“We continue to support the thousands of jobs we have created across our national construction sector, which is facing many challenges due to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis.

“These types of infrastructure projects will be particularly crucial for helping us bounce back after the COVID-19 crisis has ended by ensuring we have the safe transport connections needed for all of Australia to keep moving.

“We will continue to work with the Queensland, Northern Territory and Western Australian Governments and in partnership with industry to ensure the safety of all Australians while they deliver our pipeline of critical infrastructure projects.”

Mackay Mayor Greg Williamson welcomed the Federal Government’s funding commitment to improve the Peak Downs Highway.

“The Peak Downs Highway between Mackay and Eton is a major arterial road used by many local motorists and heavy vehicle operators,” Mayor Williamson said.

“The upgrades will make it a safer road for all road users to travel on and inject much-needed funding into our local economy,’’ he said.

Isaac Regional Council Mayor Anne Baker described the funding for work on the Peak Downs Highway and May Downs Road as “fantastic news”.

“The increased usage of Peak Downs Highway and particularly the May Downs Roads as major transport corridors over the past decade has meant the condition of the roads have worsened, despite scheduled maintenance and upgrades,” Mayor Baker said.

“Working in partnership council, community, industry and government can all play a role in ensuring a safe and reliable road network from our coast to the coalfields.

“Improving safety on these roads for the many families, workers and transport drivers who use them on a regular basis remains one of our Council’s top priorities, so this announcement is very welcome.

Livingstone Shire Council Mayor Andy Ireland said the funding was welcome news for the community which would benefit from these important road infrastructure projects.

“Council appreciates the continued funding support of Ms Landry and the Australian Government towards vital road infrastructure projects that will assist in improving the long-term safety and accessibility of our Shire’s road networks,” Mayor Ireland said.

More details on the Australian Government’s shovel-ready and targeted safety works funding packages across Queensland, Western Australia and the Northern Territory, including full project details, are available at www.infrastructure.gov.au

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