May 23, 2011

$300m for Mackay region roads is largest NDRRA package ever in Queensland

$300m for Mackay region roads is largest NDRRA package ever in Queensland

The Hon Anthony Albanese MP

Minister for Infrastructure & Transport

Leader of the House

Member for Grayndler

23 May 2011

Premier Anna Bligh and Federal Infrastructure Minister Anthony Albanese today announced that a record $300 million will be spent repairing flood and rain damaged roads in Mackay and the Whitsundays under Operation Queenslander.

Anna Bligh said the package to repair 257 kilometres of roads was the largest ever announced in Queensland under the joint Commonwealth/State Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements (NDRRA) program.

Around 1050 jobs will be created throughout the three-year work program.

"Operation Queenslander – the state’s largest ever recovery program – is moving into top gear repairing roads damaged by our unprecedented string of natural disasters," Anna Bligh said.

"This many projects and the jobs they bring is a big shot in the arm for the local economy,"

"Mackay and the Whitsundays have been hit by repeated cyclones, heavy rainfall and flood damage throughout 2010 and 2011," she said.

"This $300 million funding is for both 2010 and 2011 events with further NDRRA funding for 2011 likely later in the year as assessment of damage continues."

Anthony Albanese said: "These funds will go a long way toward repairing road damage but also ensuring local roads are better able to cope with future wild weather.

"Under NDRRA, the Gillard Government provides 75 per cent of the funding, with 25 per cent from the Bligh Government," he said.

"Both governments are working closely together to deliver Operation Queenslander and restore the road network for the people of Mackay and the Whitsundays."

Member for Mackay Tim Mulherin said: "Combined with the $40 million for the new Fursden Creek bridge this adds up to $340 million announced for road projects in the region on the same day – that’s a tremendous boost.

"Drivers across the region will benefit from the road improvements this kind of funding injection brings.

Member for Whitsunday Jan Jarratt said: "Many of these repair projects will not just restore roads but make them better.

"That’s because older roads will be rebuilt to modern standards using improved technology, with thicker road pavement and often a widening of the surface and sealed shoulders.

"The rebuilt roads will be better able to better withstand the type of flooding and rain events that have just occurred," she said.

Some of the vital roads earmarked for restoration in the Mackay/Whitsunday region include:

  • Bruce Highway, including 27 sites across 38kms of roadworks – at cost of $42.3m Peak Downs Highway, 31 sites across 46km between Nebo and Clermont – $38.5m Bowen Developmental Road, 17 sites across 24.08km, including just east of Collinsville – $26.4m
  • Fitzroy Developmental Road, 16 sites across 14.8km including south of the Golden Mile Road intersection – $14m
  • Suttor Developmental Road, 16 sites across 18.36km – $24.3m
  • Marlborough Sarina Road, five sites across 19.54km – $22.3m
  • Mackay-Eungella Road, 11 sites across 13.32km – $13.9m
  • Gregory Developmental Road, three sites across 14.32km – $12m

Numerous other roads will also receive much-needed attention by the time the program ends in mid-2014.

The type of works being done as part of the reconstruction includes bitumen re-surfacing, stabilisation, formation repairs, re-gravelling unsealed surfaces and pavement replacement."

Queensland Main Roads Minister Craig Wallace said Roadtek had recently started repair work under the program, including:

  • Bowen Developmental Road, Collinsvale to Bowen, $10m
  • Fitzroy Developmental Road, Middlemount to Peak Downs Highway, $14m
  • Peak Downs Highway, near Clermont, $4.7m

Mr Wallace said Queensland company Shadforth’s Civil Engineering Contractors, which has done considerable work in the Mackay region, last week won a $26 million contract for work on 10 roads, including the Mackay-Eungella Road.

"I congratulate this Queensland company, which will use local labour, on winning this project," he said.

"There will be more than enough work for local companies, regional companies and statewide Queensland companies on the massive project – we need them to get this important job done."

Mr Wallace urged motorists to take care when driving through roadworks and to continue to obey all lowered speed limits and instructions from traffic controllers.

"Road crews all across Mackay are working around the clock to deliver this huge program of long-term restoration works, so this means some short-term delays for motorists," he said.

"Road safety, of both motorists and roadworkers, must always come first and foremost."