I have approved the release of the $13.5 million required to complete the detailed planning and design work on the upgrade of the Peak Downs Highway, a project made possible thanks to Federal Labor’s new mining tax.
A key pledge at the last Federal Election, this $120 million project will straighten and flatten the Highway over the Eton Range, a particularly notorious stretch used by 4,000 motorists and truck drivers a day. Over the last eight years, it has been scene of three fatalities and six serious injuries.
When it comes to infrastructure, Federal Labor means and does what it says.
The detailed planning and design work, along with the associated community consultations, will be undertaken by the Queensland Main Roads Department and take up to 24 months to complete, with construction to begin in 2015.
The upgrade of the Peak Downs Highway couldn’t come at a better time. After all, this road is the main link between the booming resource rich Bowen Basin and the Queensland coast.
This project is a good example of Federal Labor reinvesting a proportion of the wealth created by our natural resources back into building the road, railway, port and social infrastructure which the mining industry and local regional communities rely upon.
The upgrade of the Eton Range section is in addition to the work we completed in 2009, which installed three new overtaking lanes and widened the road between Cut Creek and the Retreat Hotel.
Compared to the $120 million we’ve already committed to the Highway, the former Howard Government could only be bothered spending $6.5 million during their twelve long years in office.
State-wide, Federal Labor has more than doubled annual infrastructure spending since coming to office from $143 to $314 per Queenslander. All up, we are providing a record $8.7 billion over six years to rebuild and extend the State’s road, rail and public transport infrastructure.