Feb 1, 2009

Native wildlife encouraged at Townsville Ring Road

Native wildlife encouraged at Townsville Ring Road

MEDIA RELEASE

The Hon Anthony Albanese MP

The Minister for Infrastructure, Transport,

Regional Development and Local Government

Leader of the House

Member for Grayndler

February 1 2009

Main Roads Minister Warren Pitt planted a native tree today at the Townsville Ring Road project site to acknowledge the multiple environmental initiatives incorporated into the design of the landmark project.

Federal Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Anthony Albanese said construction of the Ring Road includes two new bridges over the Little Bohle River and the Bohle River which were completed in September.

“Once completed, the Ring Road will meet increased traffic use on the Bruce Highway and in the northern suburbs of Townsville and Thuringowa,” Mr Albanese said.

“The Federal Government has committed funding to this project to ensure the Townsville community is catered for well into the future. The Australian Government has provided $79.5 million towards the $119 million cost in partnership with the Queensland Government.”

Mr Pitt said he was very pleased to see the effort that had been made to reduce the effects of the new road on the surrounding eco-system.

“The Townsville Ring Road project team has been diligent in ensuring that the landscaping supports the habitats of the area’s native wildlife,” he said.

“As part of the project’s environmentally-sustainable landscaping plan, numerous measures have been factored into the project to ensure the area’s local flora and fauna continue to flourish.

“Bird nesting boxes have been installed at locations around the Ring Road project site to help provide safe and accessible housing for the area’s active wildlife.

“These boxes, made from recycled plywood sourced during construction of the Ring Road, will provide safe nesting and shelter for a vast array of birds and for larger tree-dwelling wildlife such as possums.

“These initiatives showcase the hard work and innovative design that have gone into the delivery of this vital project, which, once complete, will serve the thriving region well into the future.”

Other environmental initiatives of the project design include:

  • construction of two major detention basins to enable collection and natural dispersion of flood waters;
  • use of storm water retained in the detention basins for irrigation to remove the need for potable water;
  • inclusion of shelter islands in the detention basins for use by animals caught in flash flooding;
  • planting native food plants near the ends of major culverts, to attract animals to use the culverts for safe passage to and from the Bohle River; and
  • mulching any trees removed for use in project landscaping.

Mr Pitt said despite recent wet weather, good progress was still being made on sections two and three of the Ring Road and completion was expected in the coming months.

“While recent wet weather has been a concern, this landmark project for the thriving Townsville community is progressing well,” he said.

“The Townsville Ring Road will take many of the heavy vehicles off our local road network, greatly reducing the risk of accidents and improving noise and air quality for local residents.”

The project includes two main sections: an extension from the Douglas Arterial/Riverside Drive at Condon to Hervey’s Range Road; and then from Hervey Range Road to connect with Shaw Road at the Dalrymple Road intersection.