May 19, 2011

Budget delivers for Townsville

Budget delivers for Townsville

The Hon Anthony Albanese MP

Minister for Infrastructure & Transport

Leader of the House

Member for Grayndler

18 May 2011

Federal Infrastructure and Transport Minister Anthony Albanese today joined Queensland Main Roads Minister Craig Wallace onsite to inspect firsthand the good progress that’s already been made on Townsville’s long awaited Port Access Road, a project which is on track to be finished on time in late 2012.

Mr Albanese also took the opportunity to confirm that the funding necessary to complete another of the City’s missing pieces of infrastructure – the fourth and last section of the Ring Road – was allocated in last week’s Federal Budget, fulfilling a key election pledge given by the Gillard Labor Government.

“When it comes to infrastructure, Federal Labor means what it says and does what it promises,” said Mr Albanese.

“But the good news in the Budget didn’t stop there. We have also been able reinstated the five Bruce Highway projects deferred as part of our initial response to Queensland’s unprecedented string of natural disasters including the duplication the road between Vantassel Street and the Flinders Highway.

“The commissioning of these projects – together with the duplication of the Douglas Arterial – brings our investment in Townsville’s road network to a record $420 million over the life our current six year Nation Building Program.

“Unlike our predecessors, we’re putting in place the infrastructure which will support the City’s growth not just for the next three years but for the next three decades. Our vision is a simple one: a sustainable, vibrant Townsville which continues to be a great place to visit, do business and raise a family.”

To be jointly funded by Gillard (up to $160 million) and Bligh ($40 million) Labor Governments, the Ring Road project will connect the Douglas Arterial to the Bruce Highway at Mt Low, with planning to get underway this year.

Mr Wallace said the fact that the completion of the Ring Road was one of only seven new road projects to secure funding in this year’s Federal Budget is a tribute to the local community’s persistent campaign for better infrastructure.

“Without action, traffic volumes at the Shaw Road/Bruce Highway intersection will reach 64,000 vehicles a day within just a decade,” said Mr Wallace.

“Not only will the completion of the Ring Road take up to 5,000 trucks a day off our already congested local roads and away from the CBD, it is the long term solution to the flooding which regularly affects the northern approaches to Townsville.”