May 3, 2019

Media Release – Federal Labor commits to Kirkwood Road and Kennedy Drive Interchanges – Friday, 3 May 2019

A Shorten Labor Government will invest $52.2 million to progress work on the Tweed Valley’s two most strategically important infrastructure projects – the Kirkwood Road Interchange and the Kennedy Drive Interchange.

This election is a choice between Labor’s plan for better infrastructure investment, or bigger tax loopholes for the top end of town under the Liberals and Nationals.

Shadow Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, Cities and Regional Development Anthony Albanese today joined the Member for Richmond, Justine Elliot, to announce this funding commitment.

The Kirkwood Road Interchange will tackle existing traffic congestion and future- proof the road transportation needs of the Tweed region’s growing population by linking Fraser Drive to Kirkwood Road East and Minjungbal Drive, including on and off ramps from the M1 Pacific Motorway.

The Kirkwood Road Interchange will provide alternative routes for commuters accessing the M1 Pacific Highway, and ease traffic congestion along Dry Dock Road and Kennedy Drive.

“Today’s announcement of Federal Labor’s commitment of $48.1 million towards the Kirkwood Road Interchange builds on Labor’s strong record of delivering for our region,” Ms Elliot said.

Locals will also benefit from a further $4.1 million investment to deliver a critical safety upgrade to one of Tweed’s most notorious intersections on Kennedy Drive.

Tweed Shire Council will match the funding, bringing the total amount to $8.2 million.

The funding will go towards replacing the existing double roundabout at the Kennedy Drive / M1 Pacific Motorway interchange with twin traffic signals, including an upgrade to the Ducat Street intersection.

Currently the double roundabouts, known as the ‘dogbone’, are made up of two staggered junctions that slow the flow of traffic, creating congestion and causing safety risks for motorists.

“Tweed Shire Council has identified both infrastructure projects as a major priority,” Ms Elliot said.

“There is enormous potential for retail and commercial business as well, and this area is earmarked for significant housing growth.

“Labor’s support for major projects continues to deliver much-needed jobs for our region.

“Labor’s investment in Kirkwood Road and Kennedy Drive will ease congestion, reduce travel times, and meet the growing needs of the Tweed region.

“Major infrastructure projects are important enablers of regional economies over time, but they also deliver a lot of jobs during the construction phase.

“Our region benefitted from a number of major projects funded by the former Labor Government.

“These included the Sexton Hill Bypass and the Tintenbar to Ewingsdale Bypass, which were part of the duplication of the Pacific Highway.

“Only a Shorten Labor Government can be relied upon to invest in the road infrastructure regional Australia needs to not only boost productivity and drive economic development, but also to deliver safer driving conditions for all motorists and road users,” Ms Elliot said.