Sep 9, 2008

Labor’s “Nation Building” Agenda comes to the Gladstone Region

Labor’s "Nation Building" Agenda comes to the Gladstone Region

JOINT MEDIA RELEASE

The Hon Anthony Albanese

Minister for Infrastructure, Transport,

Regional Development and Local Government

Leader of the House

Member for Grayndler

Chris Trevor

Member for Flynn

Detailed planning for a major upgrade of the intersection of the Bruce and Dawson highways at Calliope has begun, with the Rudd Labor Government having provided the Queensland Government with $3 million to complete this necessary work.

Visiting the Gladstone region today, the Federal Infrastructure and Transport Minister Anthony Albanese joined local MP Chris Trevor to inspect the site of the proposed $55 million upgrade of the Calliope Crossroads.

“By starting the critical planning work now, we will be in a position to start building the new intersection at least 12 months earlier than originally anticipated,” said Mr Albanese.

“In fact we expect planning to be completed by December 2009.

“At last year’s election, Labor said one of its top priorities in government would be to build better and safer roads. Today’s announcement is proof we are moving quickly to honour that pledge.”

The upgrade will involve the construction of an overpass to separate the Bruce and Dawson highways, together with other work that will improve safety at this intersection.

“Moving forward with this critical project earlier than anticipated is a welcome development for my community,” said Mr Trevor.

“The $55 million announcement in the lead up to last year’s Federal election was one very dear to my heart. As a local I had seen, read and heard about so many of my people being injured, maimed and killed at this intersection, making me determined to have my Government right that which was so wrong.

“Already some 7,100 cars and more than 1,600 trucks pass through this intersection each day – and these numbers are only likely to grow given the high levels of residential development occurring in both Calliope and Gladstone.

“Once completed, this $55 million project will deliver safer driving conditions and shorter commute times along this important link between Calliope and Gladstone.”

Mr Albanese said the planning work will get this project rolling and provide a firm picture of what needs to be done.

“Importantly this work will identify a preferred option for progressing the project to the construction phase – one which the local community will be consulted about,” said Mr Albanese.

Funding for the Calliope intersection project is part of the Rudd Labor Government’s plan to invest $2.2 billion between 2009 and 2014 on improving the condition and capacity of the Bruce Highway.

“It is no longer good enough that this highway of national significance is little more than a ‘goat track’ in parts and inadequate for the volume of traffic it will be expected to carry over coming decades,” said Mr Albanese.

“For a large, decentralised and rapidly growing state like Queensland, modern well-planned roads are essential. Such infrastructure prevents traffic congestion, cuts commuting times, improves safety, supports export industries and reduces harmful carbon emissions.”